Sunday, December 5, 2010

Practical Ways to Help The Chronically Ill

Being chronically ill, one thing I hear all the time is: "If I can do anything, please let me know." I know people really do want to help, but they're not always sure how. And on my end, it is VERY difficult to ask for help, let alone say, "Oh, yes, by the way, could you scrub my toilet?"

Lisa Copen, founder of Rest Ministries, has written an indispensable book called "Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend." You may have a chronically ill friend, or maybe there is someone in your church or neighborhood who is chronically ill that you may not know very well, but would like to help. Here are some ideas:

* Send the person a card letting them know you're thinking of them and praying them. {Speaking from experience, mail time is quite exciting when you hardly ever get out.}

* Arrange to take her children for a day, evening, or whatever.

* Just listen....until it hurts to not say anything. And then listen some more.

* Instead of saying, "I'll pray for you," say, "I'd like to pray for you right now if that's okay."

* Mop his floors.

* Call before you visit, and ask if she has any errands you could do for her while you are on the way over.

* Offer to help out with pets while he is in the hospital.

* Don't tease her and call her "hop along" or "slowpoke" even light-heartedly, {unless they do it first}. Comments you mean in fun can cut to the quick and destroy her spirit.

* Don't say, "Let me know if there's anything I can do." People rarely feel comfortable saying, "Yes, my laundry." Instead, pick something you are willing to do and then ask her permission. {There is a coupon J.O.Y. (Just Offering You) coupon in the back of the book on which you can write your ideas.}

* Say, "I'll be bringing you dinner a night next week. Would Monday or Tuesday work better?"

* Put a freezable dinner in a disposable or reusable container with a note saying it won't be necessary to return.
I will be posting more of these in the near future. You can purchase this book for yourself or your church on Lisa's website,
I am also working on a packet of information, which will include a copy of this book, that I will be sending to some local churches. If you are interested in obtaining one for YOUR church, please leave a comment with your email address, or email me at They are not ready yet, but I can start taking "orders".
Hope everyone has a safe and healthy week!


Patty Ann said...

What a wonderful idea!! I think I will get one as I never know when it will be needed. I think we can all learn better how to help. Words can sometimes seem so empty. I am much happier when I can do something. Love the idea. Thank you for sharing.

Joanna said...

Quite excited for ya, Kerri. You've got a lot of great ideas. Can't wait to see what all you come up with.

Renee Ann said...

Great ideas! I may have to grab a copy of this book for our women's ministry leader. We have a few women with various illnesses that we're trying to encourage.

CoconutPalmDesigns said...

Not related to your current post, which was great btw, but I saw this product called Nozin Nasal Sanitizer on in an All-Natural Cold & Cough Remedies article and thought I'd send you the link. It might be something you would be interested in for Jacob to maybe help reduce the risk of him getting sick at daycare.

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

CoconutPalmDesigns said...

I think that link is going to be too long for you to access so here it is from tiny url:

Or the product website is: