Tips for anyone to help those who are seriously ill. Family with loved ones, friends, acquaintences, and caregivers here have good advice to be a true help to the needy.

1) Don't avoid me. Be the friend...the loved one you've always been.
2) Touch me. A simple squeeze of my hand can tell me you still care.
3) Call me to tell me you're bringing my favorite dish and what time you are coming. Bring food in disposable containers, so I won't worry about returns.
4) Take care of my children for me. I need a little time to be alone with my loved one. My children may also need a little vacation away from my illness.
5) Weep with me when I weep. Laugh with me when I laugh. Don't be afraid to share this with me.
6) Take time out for a pleasure trip, but know my limitations.
7) Call for my shopping list and make a "special" delivery to my home.
8) Call me before you visit, but don't be afraid to visit. I need you. I am lonely
9) Help my family. I am sick, but they may be suffering. Offer to come stay with me to give my loved ones a break. Invite them out. Take them places.
10) Help me celebrate holidays (and life) by decorating my hospital room or home or bringing me tiny gifts of flowers or other natural treasures.
11) Be creative! Bring me a book of thoughts, taped music, a poster for my wall, cookies to share with my family and.friends...an old friend who hasn't come to visit me.
12) Let's talk about it. Maybe I need to talk about my illness. Find out by asking me : "Do you feel like talking about it?"
13) Don't always feel we have to talk. We can sit silently together.
14) Can you take me or my children somewhere I may need transportation to a treatment....to the store...to a doctor.
15) Help me feel good about my looks. Tell me I look good, considering my illness.
16) Please include me in a decision. I've been robbed of so many things. Please don't deny me a chance to make decisions in my family...in my life.
17) Talk to me of the future. Tomorrow, next week, next year. Hope is so important to me.
18) Bring me a positive attitude. It's catching!
19) What's in the news? Magazines, photos, newspapers, verbal reports, keep me from feeling the world is passing me by
20) Could you help me with some cleaning? During my illness, my family and I still face: dirty clothes, dirty dishes, dirty house.
21) Water my flowers.
22) Just send a card to say "I care."
23) Pray for me and share your faith with me.
24) Tell me what you would like to do for me and, when I agree, please do it!
25) Tell me about support groups Iike Make Today Count, Cancerwise, and American Cancer Society so I can share with others.

From the brochure "25 Tips to Help Those Facing a Serious Illness" from Saint Anthony' s Hospital's "Make Today Count. "

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