Sickness is not something that anyone desires for oneself or his/her family members, but life happens. People get sick with different types of illnesses and at varying durations. Regardless of the period that one is sick, one needs care, or better still, to be cared for. The level of care required for any sick person depends on the severity of the illness. Sometimes, all one needs is moral support or encouragement while others might require help at every level – physical, emotional, mental (psychological), spiritual, etc. Anyone can fall ill, it can be you, your friend or your family members.
Sometimes when a family member is sick, some people are totally clueless on how to deal with such a situation or occurrence. In this article, I want to highlight ways that you can manage and support a family member who is sick whether temporary or terminal sickness. Or better still, if you have a question such as “what should I do when my loved one is sick. Or how should I support a sick friend?
#1. Be kind
Extend your kindness to such person, friend or family member. Sometimes, little things can mean a lot to such a person. By nice to such person, don’t blame them for their sickness even though you might know the cause of the sickness. Please, don’t use abusive words on such persons.
Being kind can include visiting such a person if you are not living together. Spend time to talk with them, chat with them, share beautiful memories of their healthy life and encourage them that they will be fine. Let them know that they have a chance to have their healthy life back.
Avoid raising inconsequential issues that are not necessary on their sickbed. Allow them to recover well. Whatever you think of as being kind, be that to them.
Help them to maintain the privacy that they require in such situations. If they don’t want visitors, help your sick family member or friend to fulfil that wish.
#2. Pray for the recovery of such a person
Pray for them. Words of prayer can help such a person to understand that you truly care. If you have a different faith, first of all, ask the person if it’s okay for you to pray for him/her. Don’t impose this on them. Rather, you can pray in your private space for them.
Prayers can help such person to be spiritually strengthened and which will make them be in a good spirit and recover faster. Let them know that God cares about them even in their sickness.
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#3. Provide physical help
A sick person can also be physically incapacitated to go about his/her daily activities. It will be great to help such people where ever they need help. You can help the person with basic chores like personal hygiene, preparing food for the person, washing his/her clothes, etc.
You don’t have to wait to be asked, offer your help and go the extra mile in showing them care. You can help them to take care of other things in their daily lives such as taking care of their pets, cleaning their house, as so on.
#4. Encourage the person
Speak encouraging words to any sick person, say something like—"you will recover from this or that”, “don’t give up”, “keep fighting”, “you will come out of it”, “I wish you a speedy recovery”, “We care about you”, and so on. Let them know that you miss them in their healthy form.
These words will go a long way to build their psychological strength to recover from such sickness. Words are powerful, that is why you need to know and also be careful of what you say in moments like that.
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#5. Send them kind messages
You can also send them nice words on cards, send them flowers and helpful gifts for such seasons. They will have an eternal appreciation for these gestures.
Send them kind text messages, emails, avoid any stressful method of communication depending on how they feel, e.g., speaking on phone. Ask their personal friends and professional colleagues who are aware to reach out to his/her (only if this is what the person might appreciate).
"Avoid raising inconsequential issues that are not necessary on their sickbed. Allow them to recover well. Whatever you think of as being kind, be that to them."
#6. Help them with final preparations
For sick family members with terminal sickness, offer to help them with final preparations for their transition. Depending on their state of preparedness, you can offer to help them with their will, inheritance arrangement (be careful not to manipulate them in any way). It is a dangerous thing to take advantage of anyone let alone when such a person is in a disadvantageous position.
You can help them to arrange their final resting place and find out how they want to be treated when they depart. Don’t feel so scared to talk about these themes with them especially in a situation that they know the inevitable. Whatever you promise them, be careful to fulfil it!
Let’s keep dazzling as we care for our sick family members or friends.