If you’ve been wondering how to reach out to someone who is chronically ill, but aren’t sure what would be best, below are several ideas. I do want to add, if it’s been a long time and you feel awkward because you let so much time slip by, that’s okay. You’d be surprised how much even the smallest of gestures means to someone who is dealing with the daily challenges of chronic illness.
It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be a card, a trinket, a gift card, just a little something to let them know you were thinking of them.
Text or email
Written communication is often the preferred communication for people who are chronically ill because they can reply when it’s best for them. Feel free to let them know in the text that they don’t need to respond right away, just that you were thinking of them and wanted to say hello.
Ask if they’d like you to stop by for a few minutes. When someone is chronically ill they may no longer be able to come to you and they feel awkward asking you to come over so you’re going to have to take the initiative on this one. If they tell you yes, let them know it’ll be quick since you don’t want to take up too much energy, if they say no because they’re unable to, don’t just give up! Ask again in a few weeks or ask them to let you know when is good for them. Chronic illness means they will have good days and bad ones, don’t take that personally. If they want you to visit, they’ll get back to you.
Ask if you can help in any way
It’s highly likely they will say no, but it’s nice to be asked. It’s a great way of saying I care, and I want to help. If there is something you truly want to help with, come out and say it. If they don’t want your help, they’ll say so, but give them the opportunity.
Drop off food for them or other people in the home or send food gift cards
When the burden of meal planning for a house falls differently it’s exhausting on everyone involved. Sometimes not having to cook or having a nice home cooked meal is big treat, and it’s greatly appreciated. This is especially true if the person is living alone. So many chronically ill people live alone, without energy to shop or cook, and really struggle with meal planning and preparation. If you’re out and about ask if you can pick them something up or drop off a meal (always check for dietary restrictions), or just tell them you are going to drop off a meal (that way they can’t say no because they don’t want to be a bother).
There are a million ways you can reach out, the most important thing is that if you’ve been meaning to reach out to someone but have felt awkward because too much time has passed, just do it! So the saying goes, it’s better to give than to receive.
Thank you for stopping in today! I know you could be doing literally anything with your time and I appreciate that you chose to spend it here. Just have to add, if you’re a friend of mine and you’re reading this post…it is not a plea for you to send me things! 🙂 It is a post I hope will reach someone who has been feeling like too much time has passed but they realize it’s still okay to brighten the day of someone who is chronically ill anyway. A few more doodles below. Take good care 🌸