Five Ways to Care for Someone Sick

Posted by Marjorie Chang, Copy Editor, on Jan 27, 2021

Five Ways to Care for Someone Sick

Many of us know someone who is dealing with some kind of illness. Whether it’s a cold, Covid-19, or a chronic condition, the battle against sickness and disease can be a long (and sometimes deeply lonely) one. We can make a world of difference by simply “showing up” and showing that we care during this time.

Here are five practical ways to support a family member, friend, or neighbor who is sick:

1. Ask the right kind of questions.

When we don’t know what help to offer, we often say something like, “Let me know how I can help, or if you need anything.” We mean well, but a person who is sick or caring for someone else may not have time and energy to reach back out with a list of requests.

Instead, try asking a specific question like, “I’m heading to the store; what can I pick up for you?” Or “I’ll be in your area this afternoon. What do you need?” Or, “How can I pray for you today?”

2. Help with meals.

When someone in a household is sick, it doesn’t mean everyone else's needs are on hold. Food is a huge help for everyone when caregiving attention needs to be elsewhere! You don’t have to be a gourmet chef; think about providing food via meal delivery service, gift cards to a restaurant that delivers, or something like GrubHub or Uber Eats.

Healthy snacks to grab on the go can also be a lifesaver for those who are spending late nights caring for others. One easy option: have a snack box from Amazon delivered as a gift. You can do this anonymously, or with a thoughtful note.

Those who are spending time in the hospital with a family member might appreciate spare change for the hospital vending machine, or even prepackaged snack items for hospital staff on behalf of the family.

3. Help with additional household responsibilities and people needs.

For some families, home maintenance adds an extra weight during a time of illness. Simple acts of service like mowing the lawn, picking up mail, walking the dog, or making a run to the store to pick up needed items (toilet paper, groceries, laundry detergent, etc.) can lighten the load. If you know a family has multiple appointments or trips to a clinic or hospital throughout the week, see whether they could use a parking voucher or help to fill up the car with gas. Travel toiletry items like tissues or hand sanitizer can always come in handy, too. So can an extra phone charger or backup phone power source.

Siblings and kids can often be overlooked when a family member is sick. Help them feel “remembered” with babysitting, rides to and from school, playdates or Zoom/phone calls, or even a simple gift and encouraging card. And don't underestimate the power of a patient, listening ear! Sometimes it helps just to vent or share struggles out loud.

4. Encourage self-care and stress relief.

Illness can be a very stressful time, and self-care can fall to the wayside in the face of overwhelming need. A simple “thinking of you” note, written prayer, text, or favorite Bible verses can provide some much-needed perspective. So can a travel Bible, a journal and nice pen, or other self-care items like beauty masks, hand lotion, scented candles, fuzzy socks, and cozy blankets.

Or try a “gift card dump”: ask people you know for any random gift cards they don’t need but have languishing in their wallet. You can assemble a fun and totally random collection of gift cards that might otherwise go forgotten or unused. Even a small balance on a card can satisfy a craving or brighten the mood (think Starbucks, Sonic, Chick-Fil-A, and more).

5. Provide creative entertainment.

Time can move slowly when you or someone in your house is sick. Not everyone has access to streaming services, but a Disney Plus/Hulu/Netflix or other streaming service gift card can help provide a mental “vacation” and make the recovery process pass more quickly. So can an iTunes or Amazon gift card with a playlist of encouraging music.

And don’t forget that laughter truly can be the best medicine. Find and send some silly GIF files, or grab some friends or family to take turns recording and sending a goofy “joke of the day.”

Whatever way you choose to express your care and concern, know that simple gestures can make a huge difference to others during a time of sickness and need.

Looking for more ideas? Grab a Feel Better Box from any of our campus lobbies before or after weekend service, as a simple way to provide comfort items and a meal for someone while they are sick.


Share This:

Recent Stories

Swipe to Discover more

3 Ways To Keep Learning About Black History

Feb 25, 2024

Black History Month celebrates the heritage and achievements of black Americans, past and present. But why and how can we keep learning, once February is over?


Remembering the Dream: Honoring MLK, Jr.

Feb 23, 2024

Several Chase Oakers share their reflections on the impact and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech.


Five Things You Can Do For Lent This Year

Feb 11, 2024

What's the history of Lent? How is it observed? It's not just a way to pass time before Easter. It's a great opportunity to take some steps toward personal transformation.


Creative Ways that Everyone Can Celebrate Love

Feb 09, 2024

Valentine’s Day: love it, hate it, skip it? Whatever your view, love is for everyone at any age or life stage. We’ve got some fresh ideas for how everyone can celebrate love this week and beyond.


Where To Celebrate Lunar New Year 2024 in DFW

Feb 05, 2024

Happy Lunar New Year 2024! We've listed just a few of the many places you can celebrate the Year of the Dragon in DFW.


Four Reasons Why We Should Celebrate Black History Month

Jan 30, 2024

Black History Month is a celebration of the lives and achievements of African Americans who have made a difference in our world.


The Local Good Pantry: Nourishing Communities, Creating Hope

Jan 26, 2024

The newly opened Local Good Pantry offers hope to the surrounding community by addressing hunger and food insecurity with dignity.


12 Bible Verses for When You're Feeling Anxious

Jan 21, 2024

Feeling anxious? You're not alone. Be encouraged by these 12 Bible verses and the reassuring perspective they provide.


Finding Freedom and Forgiveness After Abuse: Rowena's Story (Part 2)

Jan 11, 2024

In confronting the cycle of abuse in her life, one woman found hope, healing, and something else: the freeing power of forgiveness.


Finding Freedom and Forgiveness After Abuse: Rowena's Story (Part 1)

Jan 10, 2024

Seeking to end years of domestic abuse, one woman found healing from an unexpected source.