How to Give Strength to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill

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How to Give Strength to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill
How to Give Strength to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill

It's hard to see someone you know sick or ill without being able to do anything. Fortunately, as much as you may not be able to heal the person, you can take care of them through certain actions and words during this delicate period.


Part 1 of 4: Showing Affection Through Actions

Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 1

Step 1. Visit the person

If your loved one or friend is in a hospital or confined to a bed, the most important way to give them a boost is to keep them company. You can help distract him from the illness or try to bring a sense of normalcy to this delicate time.

  • Think about what you can do when you visit him. If you like cards or board games, bring something like that; if you have kids, ask them to draw something cool to cheer up your friend, among other things.
  • Call ahead to find out if it's a good time or, if necessary, try to arrange something in advance. Sometimes sick people need much more care in relation to visits because of factors such as medication, rest and the like.
Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 2

Step 2. Don't treat the person as if they were sick

Those who suffer from chronic or terminal illnesses have the problem on their minds all the time. You have to give the friend the feeling that nothing has changed. Treat him normally.

  • Keep in touch. Chronic illnesses are great tests of friendship. Do your best not to distance yourself from your friend and thus not allow the relationship to suffer from the logistical and emotional challenges of the situation. Those who undergo treatments or are confined to a hospital bed or their own bed are often "forgotten". If necessary, write everything down in your diary so you don't miss anything.
  • Help your friend to do what he likes. If he's chronically or terminally ill, he's going to need a lot of fun and joy. Do what you can to ease the period.
  • Don't be afraid to play or plan for the future! After all, your friend is the same person you've always liked.
Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 3

Step 3. Give your friend's family the proper support

If the person has a family or even pets, they can be even more stressed - since they not only have to worry about their own recovery and prognosis, but also about those who count on them. Fortunately, there are practical ways to help:

  • Cook for his family. This is a classic and effective way to help someone who is sick. Even if your friend can't even eat, you can help by preparing some meals at his house for the kids or wife while they rest.
  • Help him make plans for the treatment process. If your friend has young children, older relatives, or the like, ask what you can do for them during this time. For example, maybe he needs someone to visit and take care of his father, walk the dog, take and pick up the children from school, etc. Sometimes people who are sick can't plan to do small logistical tasks - and that's where friendship makes a difference.
  • Clean the house for the friend. Some people are uncomfortable with this type of assistance. Find out first if this is the case; if your friend doesn't feel bad, ask permission to go to his house once a week (or more or less, depending on your availability) to take care of the housework. You can do something that is more general (water the plants, wash clothes, clean the kitchen, shop, etc.) or ask for more specific directions.
  • Ask him what he wants and do what you can. Many people say things like "Tell me if you need help", but few have the courage to ask. Don't make your friend contact you when they need something; call and ask. Tell him you're going to the market and if you can bring him something or you can stop by his house some day of the week to clean up. Be specific and candid about availability and fulfill any commitments you make!
Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 4

Step 4. Send the person flowers or a fruit basket

If you can't be there, at least send the friend a sign of affection to show you're thinking about him.

  • Remember that with the disease, your friend can be more sensitive to strong smells (some cancer patients who have chemotherapy, for example, do not like bouquets of flowers). So, think of things that won't hurt, like chocolates, a stuffed animal, balloons, etc.
  • Many hospitals offer gift and souvenir delivery services. If your friend is hospitalized, buy a bouquet or some balloons there. Try to find the store's phone number on the hospital's website.
  • Use mutual friends or co-workers to buy more expensive and better gifts.
Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 5

Step 5. Be yourself

You're already special and don't need to be a "Mr. handyman". Act naturally.

  • Don't pretend you have all the answers to every possible question. Even if you do, it's best to let your friend figure some things out on their own. Also, if you are a funny person, just be careful with the jokes you make in front of him. Anyway, he laughed at himself and other lighter things (as if everything were normal).
  • Be nice. Give your friend all your support and comfort. Try to cheer him up, not talk about negative things or gossip. You can make the day even better if you wear colorful clothes!
Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 6

Step 6. Make the person feel useful

Sometimes asking a sick person for advice or favors makes them feel useful and thus more motivated to keep striving to get better.

  • Many patients who suffer from certain diseases do not develop intellectual problems. In this sense, you can try to distract your friend by talking about other people and their problems.
  • Think about your friend's area of ​​expertise and ask questions related to it. For example, if he is an engineer and you are thinking about building a new house, ask for advice on how to get started and where to turn.

Part 2 of 4: Showing affection through words

Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 7

Step 1. Talk to the friend

Learn to be a good listener and show him that you are there for whatever comes and goes and for when he needs to vent about the situation he is going through (if he wants to). Anyway, the fact that he can talk to someone will be reassuring enough.

Be honest with your friend if you don't know what to say. Many people are uncomfortable when it comes to illness - which is normal. The important thing is that you are present and supportive. Tell your friend you won't leave his side

Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 8

Step 2. Send a card or call the friend if you can't keep him company

It's very easy to send a message or post on Facebook, but letters or phone calls are more personal and affectionate.

Write a very thoughtful letter. This is the easiest option if you don't know what to say to someone who is in a delicate situation, as you can calmly edit it and fix the parts that don't look good. Say you hope your friend will get better and share good news that doesn't have to do with the situation

Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 9

Step 3. Ask the friend questions

It's important to respect his privacy. However, if the patient himself is open to answering some questions, you will be able to understand the illness more and find out what you can do to help.

You can research the disease on the internet, but asking him directly is the only way to find out how the condition specifically affects him - and how he feels, which is just as important

Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 10

Step 4. Take care of the friend's children

If so, they are likely to feel isolated, lonely and confused by everything that is going on. Depending on the severity of the illness, they may even be scared, angry and worried and need someone to talk to. If they know and trust you, try to be a kind of mentor to them during this time.

Take them out for ice cream and talk. Just don't force them to say more than they want to. Maybe they need your protection; maybe they just want to let off steam. Open up the lines of communication and stay close to them for a few days or weeks (depending on the level of intimacy)

Part 3 of 4: Understanding what you shouldn't do or say

Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 11

Step 1. Don't make basic mistakes

People react in very banal and clichéd ways when a friend goes through difficulties of any kind - and often these reactions seem to be insincere or uncomfortable for the sick person. Avoid these examples:

  • "God knows what He does" or similar expressions. Sometimes, people of faith and well meaning say things like that because they believe them. Even so, they sound nasty, especially if the sick person is going through something very delicate or difficult. Besides, he might not even believe in God.
  • "I know what you're feeling." Sometimes people say this phrase to someone who is having a problem. As much as it makes sense to everyone who faces delicate situations, it's impossible to even know what others feel. The expression is even worse when accompanied by personal comments that do not have the same intensity as what the person is experiencing. For example, if a friend has amputated a limb, don't compare the experience to the time you broke your arm. Is not the same thing. However, if you did experience something equivalent, talk about it and say something like "I went through something like that".
  • "You'll be fine". This is another common phrase for those who don't know what to say - and we often use it to "predict" the future. It is not possible to know if the person will improve, especially in cases of terminal or chronic illnesses. She may not resist or be confined to bed for the rest of her life. Saying these things only minimizes the experience.
  • "At least…". Don't minimize the person's suffering by suggesting that they have to be grateful that they're not worse off.
Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 12

Step 2. Don't complain about your own health problems

Avoid talking about it, especially if the problems in question are minor, such as a headache or a cold.

This can vary depending on your relationship with the person and how long they have been sick. If the illness is chronic or if you are very close, it may be okay to talk about it

Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 13

Step 3. Don't stop helping your friend just for fear of doing something wrong

As much as you must be tactful with the sick person's feelings, it's no use extrapolating in an attempt to help just out of fear of making a mistake. It's better to exchange feet for hands and apologize later than to ignore the person in need.

If you make a mistake and say something insensitive, say "I don't know why I said that. I don't even know what to say. This whole situation is delicate." Your friend will understand

Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 14

Step 4. Be responsible

Try to pay attention to your friend's signals so you don't overdo your visits or take too long. Especially when someone is very sick, it can be difficult to even talk - and, as the person doesn't want to hurt your feelings, she will try to please.

  • If your friend is distracted by the phone or television or is looking sleepy, you might want to leave. Don't take anything personally! Remember that he is having a hard time physically and emotionally.
  • Pay attention to the weather and do not stay at the person's house at mealtimes or at other times when they need to be alone. If so, ask if your friend wants you to buy or prepare something to eat.

Part 4 of 4: Understanding chronic diseases

Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 15

Step 1. Understand your friend's limitations

Become familiar with the illness and treatment plan he is going through to prepare for side effects, personality changes, drops in energy or vigor, and so on.

  • Ask your friend about the disease (if he's willing to talk) or do a detailed search on the internet.
  • Look at your friend's body language to understand what your friend is feeling and how the illness affects their ability to do certain things, stay alert, and be emotionally stable. Be kind and understanding if you notice changes in behavior and remember the seriousness of the situation.
Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 16

Step 2. Don't forget about the effects of the illness on your friend's mood

Coping with debilitating, chronic, or terminal illness leaves many people in depression or with other problems. The medications they take often have side effects that affect their mood.

If your friend has depressing thoughts, tell him it's not his fault he's sick and that you're there for good

Be an Encouragement to Someone Who Is Sick or Ill Step 17

Step 3. Empathize

Put yourself in the person's shoes. Maybe you go through something like this one day and need someone to do the same thing you're doing for your friend. Remember: do for others what you would like them to do for you.

  • If you had the same illness, what activities would you not be able to do? How would you feel? What kind of support would you like to receive from friends?
  • Put yourself in the person's shoes to determine how best to help.


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