Saturday, March 10, 2018

Practical Ways To Help Someone Who's Chronically Ill

The National Health Council  says "Generally incurable and ongoing, chronic diseases affect approximately 133 million Americans, representing more than 40% of the total population of this country. projected to grow to an estimated 157 million, with 81 million having multiple conditions" That is a lot of people! Some say that the number is now more than 50% of the population. 

Either way, chances are you know someone either in your family, a friend or a neighbor.

Maybe you'd like to help a neighbor, friend or family member, but don't know how. Maybe you've offered to help, but they've never asked.
In my own experience, friends and neighbors have said "call me if you need anything". You might have offered the same. That's really too general of an offer. They might take you up on your offer is something more specific. 

If you know someone who has a chronic illness or who's been sick for a long time, here's  few things you can do for them.

Call or text when you're going to the grocery store and offer to pick up a few things they need.
 I'm always running out of bananas, fresh fruit, milk and bread. 

Always ask what their preferences are and if they have a specific brand they buy. Ask directly: What kind of milk do you buy? Whole milk, 2%? What brand do you prefer?
 In our house, we buy organic fruit (but not organic bananas), organic or pastured milk(and a certain brand) and organic bread or bread without additives.
Ask about other necessities such as Toilet Paper, paper napkins or paper plates. (yes, paper plates are necessities when you don't have the energy to wash a dish or even put it in the dishwasher)

When you're going out to run errands, ask them if you can mail a letter for them or pick up something for them . 
A chronically ill person may only have the energy to feed themselves and maybe do a load of laundry in an entire day and may not have the energy to go to the pharmacy and pick up a prescription.

Practical Ways To Help Someone Who's Chronically Ill, lyme disease, chronic illness, autoimmune disease, mercury toxicity, mercury illness

Offer to do some chores for them when you visit. 
Let them know you're going to want to help them when you get there. Here are some specific things you can offer to do:
       offer to do a load of laundry while you're there, 
       offer to change their sheets and wash that load of laundry and put it back on the bed when it's finished. (this is for a longer visit or make sure they have another set to put on right away)
       offer to clear off the kitchen counters
offer to sweep the floor ( I can tell you that my tiny bit of energy is NOT going to be spent on sweeping the floor. Some days have been so bad that if something fell on the floor, it stayed there for several days until I had the energy to  pick it up.
       offer to vaccuum the floors.
       offer to unload the dishwasher (or start a load when you get there and empty it before you leave.
       offer to water plants

Don't try to do too much of this unless the person is ok with it as you don't want to make them feel bad about not doing it.

You can get your church, neighbors or book club involved to help you to. Just be mindful about bringing anyone else into the person's home. If you notice the chronically ill person's lawn needs mowing, you can either mow it for them or find someone who'd be willing to do the job.

Offer to make their favorite recipe
       I have a great recipe I love for gluten free applesauce     muffins. I love to have them for breakfast or a quick snack when I'm hungry and don't have enough energy to make a "real" meal.  My husband makes them for me, but I hate to ask him because he has to pick up the slack for all the other things I don't have the energy to do.
Practical Ways To Help Someone Who's Chronically Ill, lyme disease, chronic illness, autoimmune disease, mercury toxicity, mercury illness

Offer to make them a snack. If you know they have a good blender. (notice on one of your visits), offer to bring the ingredients for and make a blueberry- banana smoothie. That is, of course, if they like them and don't have a food allergy. Make sure the blueberries are either wild blueberries or organic because pesticides residue is found on regular blueberries.  My simple recipe is : about 10 ounces of wild blueberries, 1 banana , a cup of water and a 1/2 a lemon (if you have it). Blend for 30-45 seconds. It's good for you and it's a tasty treat.

Offer to drive them to a doctor's appointment.
Ask them when they're next doctor's appointment is and let them know that you'd like to drive them. 

Offer to take them to their favorite store.
There are many times I'd love to go to my favorite store and shop, but I don't have the energy to drive there and shop and drive back home. 
Practical Ways To Help Someone Who's Chronically Ill, lyme disease, chronic illness, autoimmune disease, mercury toxicity, mercury illness

Offer to take them out to lunch. 
For those that can't drive, there are many days where they don't get out of the house for weeks. 

Practical Ways To Help Someone Who's Chronically Ill, lyme disease, chronic illness, autoimmune disease, mercury toxicity, mercury illness

These are just suggestions. Not all of them apply to everybody. Pick one or two and ask. Don't think you have to do everything because you'll end up doing nothing because it's just too much.

I want to put in a word for those who are ill whose illness isn't recognized by the medical establishment. I'm talking about those with chronic lyme disease or ME (myalgic encephalomyalitis) or other unknown illness. (mercury illness from amalgams, comes to mind)
I belong to several lyme groups on Facebook and it breaks my heart to hear that family members or spouses either don't believe they are sick and/or have abandoned them.

I know I am so blessed to have a husband who has not only stayed with me, but has supported me in any way he could. Others are not so lucky.
Many don't have the support or finances to treat an illness that isn't recognized by the medical community and therefore isn't covered by insurance. I've seen public requests to help people with cancer or a birth or death in a family and I think those with un recognized illness are forgotten.

Hope I've given you some practical ways to help a friend or family member who's chronically ill.

Do what you can for them! It will be much appreciated!
If you have any other practical ways to help someone who's chronically ill, leave me a comment below.


this is the blender I use to make my smoothies. Since this is an affiliate link, I'll make a small commission should you purchase through this link.

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