More Than a Get Well Card – Tips for helping a friend with Chronic Illness

This is the first in a series of posts designed to give you some do’s and don’t’s for helping a friend who has a Chronic Illness. This post looks at 20 things you can do for someone.

Links in this post may be affiliate links. Purchases made using these links will not cost you more but may pay me an affiliate fee. Check out my links at the end of this posts of things that I think may interest you. Thanks for using my links.

Links in this post may take you to one of my Etsy stores. Your purchases there will directly benefit me.

-When providing meals, put them in disposable containers and let the person know you do not want the containers.

-Remember anniversaries – even if they are bad ones. 

-Offer to sit with the person while they wait for test results. Waiting alone is hard.

-Just LISTEN! 

-Offer to run errands.

-When headed to the store, text the person and find out if they need anything. 

-Call to make a spontaneous outing. If it is a “perfect” day, ask if you can take the person for a picnic. Know that it may be a “bad” day and the person may not be up for an outing. 

-Send notes of encouragement and encourage others to do the same. Hard copies can be kept in a file to look at later.

-When you are at an event, advocate for the unwell person. Make sure they have a place to sit. Check occasionally to make sure they aren’t getting too fatigued. Offer to take them home when they are too tired.

-When out with an unwell person, hold doors open (but don’t make a big deal about it). Doors are heavy but the person may be embarrassed that they cannot open a door. 

-Ask a group of kids from your church or school to help the unwell person and their family with yard work.

-Accept that the chronic illness may not go away. If the unwell person is accepting it, don’t tell her/him the illness is winning. 

-Plant a flower near a window where the unwell person usually sits. A large potted plant may be just what is needed to cheer the person’s day. I’d check with a family member before doing this. 

-If your friend missed a special event in your life, ask if you can bring pictures over to share since you missed having them at the event.

-If a loved one has died, offer to go to the funeral with the unwell person. They will need the support of a friend. They may not be able to stay for the whole ceremony and meal, if there is one and will need someone who is willing to “leave early.”

-Be gentle when shaking hands or hugging an unwell person. Pain is real and even a gentle touch can be painful. 

-Be understanding if your friend seems unreasonable. Pain, fatigue, and even medication can alter a person’s personality from when they were well. 

-Drop by on a cold day with a hot cup of tea (or favorite hot drink). Be ready to not be invited in if it is a “bad day.”

-Be an advocate for the chronically ill in your church. Help ensure there is comfortable seating or virtual options for services and meetings.

-Teach your children and grandchildren not to kick wheelchairs. 

I’ll be back another time with more tips for how to help your friend with a Chronic Illness.

What some suggestions for gifts for the Chronically Ill? Check out Gift Guide for Chronically Ill.

I have also created an Etsy Wish List with Gift Suggestions for the Chronically Ill.

Links in this post may be affiliate links. Purchases made using these links will not cost you more but may pay me an affiliate fee. Thanks for using my links.

Links in this post may take you to one of my Etsy stores. Your purchases there will directly benefit me.

Some places you might like to shop (affiliate links)



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