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Friday, May 8, 2009


People are KIND and Want to help out those who suffer to help you and here are some practical ways!

Physical Helps

  • Grocery shopping
  • Meal preparation
  • House cleaning
  • Car maintenance
  • Dog-walking
  • Getting recycle containers down to curbside
  • Running miscellaneous errands
  • Watering Plants
  • Helping with the yard
  • Drive you to an appointment
  • Picking up a child after school or practice
  • Go with daughter or son to school event
Other Practical Help You can do:
  • Help plan the week
  • Help Organize tasks
  • Calling job to work out details
  • Look through mail and clear clutter
  • Help with taxes
  • Write thank you notes
  • Help you plan a birthday party
  • Arrange for small dinner party for you and spouse/family
  • Organize medical information
  • Search internet for information on illness
  • Attend doctor appointments
  • Help process medical treatments
  • Help with insurance forms
  • Set up email communications to friends and family

Visit Family Caregiver Alliance for support-givers.

Spiritual Helps
  • Pray with you
  • Lend you encouraging and spiritual DVDs, CDs or books
  • Take you out for coffee, to church, or to see friends or family
  • Send you encouraging and spiritual cards
  • Take you on an outing to a place you enjoy
  • Remind you regularly that they care
50 Ways to Encourage Someone with Facial Pain:
  1. Even if it’s hard to understand how she can hurt so badly, yet look so “normal”, please believe her when she says she is hurting. She really is.
  2. Volunteer to do some research on the internet for him about the illness.
  3. Put meals in disposable containers and include a note telling her she doesn’t need to return the containers.
  4. Invite her to do spontaneous things, like go to the park, or have a picnic. She may be more able to participate since she knows it’s a good day or a bad day.
  5. Validate his illness by asking him if he’d be willing to encourage someone else who is struggling with pain.
  6. Take your friend’s dog out for a walk.
  7. Never minimize his illness by saying things such as, “I’m sure it’s all going to turn out just fine.” It makes him feel that he can’t be real with you about his fears, and he needs to be able to express them.
  8. Ask her if she’d like you to go to an appointment with her, just for the company.
  9. Remember anniversaries, such as the when he was diagnosed or when he had major surgery. Just a phone call saying your remembered him is enough.
  10. Ask him, “What do you wish other people knew about TN?”
  11. Tell her, “I made some soup and have extra - when can I bring some over?“
  12. Treat your friend to a gift of movie rentals (such as Netflix) via mail. ($7 to $15 a month).
  13. Stormy days often cause pain; drop off some bubble bath.
  14. Buy him a microwaveable heat pack.
  15. Ask him if he’d be interested in writing something for your community or church newsletter about what it’s like to live with a pain-related illness.
  16. Ask, “I’m going to Costco tomorrow - what can I pick up for you?”
  17. For a creative gift, provide holiday-themed paper plates and napkins.
  18. Don’t tease him, ever, about his illness.
  19. Offer to drive him to an event or activity which he needs to attend. Ill people often don’t attend events for fear that they will be in too much pain or become too tired to drive home.
  20. When you are out together, be her advocate if needed, to make sure she can receive proper seating or assistance. Please be tactful, and don’t call attention to her needlessly.
  21. Say, “While you’re in the hospital, I’ll pick up your mail.”
  22. Find out if you can pick up medications or anything else after surgery, to save the family a trip out.
  23. Be careful not to try to give lots of opinions about how to treat her illness. If she asks for your advice, give it very carefully.
  24. Encourage her that it’s okay to not know if she’s making the “best” or “right” decision(s). There are no guarantees and she’ll appreciate your supporting her.
  25. Don’t tell him about your friend’s cousin’s boyfriend’s best friend who had the same diagnosis and was cured through - unless you have truly useful information to share.
  26. Find out what his favorite author is and go the library and check out books for him.
  27. Say to her, “I know you must need to vent once in a while. I’m available.”
  28. Send her jokes via email - but only if they are funny - and never ask her to “pass them on.”
  29. Don’t make your family member the center of your life, no matter how much pain he is in. You will both wind up worse for it, if you do.
  30. If he has a disabled parking tag, don’t feel so excited about using it. If he’s having a good day, he might feel well enough to walk, and enjoy not having to park in the “handicapped space.” Don’t whine about your having to walk farther.
  31. Buy her some note cards and stamps. They always come in handy.
  32. Accept that his pain may not go away. If he’s accepting it, don’t tell him the illness is winning, and he’s giving into it.
  33. Don’t say, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.” People will rarely say, “Well, yes! Will you clean my house?” Offer something you are willing to do.
  34. Buy a magazine subscription for him.
  35. Give her a hand or a foot massage. Touch is an important part of healing, but normal places of massage may hurt her, such as her back or head.
  36. Hang up a birdfeeder where your friend can easily refill it.
  37. Understand that you don’t need to know all the details about her illness in order to be helpful.
  38. Ask her if you can help her make or return phone calls.
  39. Go to an event he has to miss and take photos, perhaps even getting friends to write him notes. Then, take them over to his house and have a “mini event” with him.
  40. Buy him a hands-free head set for his phone.
  41. Don’t ask when she is in pain, “What’s causing it?” She doesn’t know. Instead ask, “What can I do for you?”
  42. Bring him small gifts and say, “These reminded me of the time we. . .”
  43. If she’s not getting out much, ask her what she’s missing most. See how you might bring part of it to her, if possible.
  44. Tell him about your life, and don’t feel your struggles aren’t worth sharing. They are. He still wants to be “in the game of life” and be a support to you too.
  45. Write her scriptures that you have depended upon in difficult times, using bright markers.
  46. Instead of saying, “I’ll pray for you,” ask, “I’d like to pray for you right now. May I?”
  47. Call her up on the phone and sing her a silly song.
  48. Give her extra help during Thanksgiving or Christmas. As you are baking your Turkey or Christmas cookies, bake her extra. It will lighten her load.
  49. Go visit for no reason at all.
  50. Be someone who cares and doesn’t give up in the hard times - it’s the right thing to do. Expect the unexpected; look for the miraculous; be the keeper of the faith.

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