Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 02 March |
Saint of the Day: St. Chad
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

9 Ways to give extraordinary care to a sick loved one at home

Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Dolors Massot - published on 05/06/18

These thoughtful ideas show love and respect -- and foster healing.

Loved ones with long-term illnesses are a treasure. Here’s how to help them feel loved …

1. Give them the best room in the house

Sometimes the best bedroom in the house is our own. But for older people who have lived for decades in the same place, their room is part of them. When a person has a long-term illness, we have to think about the best conditions for their well-being, as well as that of the whole family.

If your sick loved one can be moved, make sure that:

  • He is in a well-ventilated room with at least one window that can be opened for a little while every day.
  • She has enough daylight in the room to be able to follow her “biological clock,” sleeping at night and being awake during the day.
  • The room is kept clean: pick up the trash in the room at least once a day (adult diapers, etc.) and change the sheets frequently (especially if he has a fever). Clean cotton sheets are the best.
  • She’s in a room that helps her feel better. It seems obvious, right? Some sicknesses require silence. For others, it’s better to participate in the daily life of the family and be surrounded by other people. Perhaps they shoild spend at least a few hours in the living room or dining room so they can be part of the family conversation and participate in day-to-day life (the news, the comings and goings of the kids and adults).
Iakov Filimonov | Shutterstock

2. Give them tasks they can realistically do

For example, ask them to read the newspaper and keep you up to date, or make a snack for the little ones, or read them a story … according to their state and situation, of course.

3. If they are in a separate room, give them a way to communicate

Baby monitors are a great help, because then we know what they’re doing at each moment. A whistle or a bell within their reach could also be a good tool. If they have a cell phone, they can use it to call or send a text.

4. Put someone in charge of the meds

This person needs to know what the sick relative needs to take and at what time. It’s a good idea to keep the medicines all in one place and just have one person keeping track of it all.

© CandyBox Images/SHUTTERSTOCK

5. Be prudent about visits

A visit can bring joy to someone who’s ill, as long as there are limits since talking can be tiring. We have to know how to cut it short, thank the visitors, and say goodbye. We also have to know each case: there are people who help the sick person to get better, but there are others who are too negative or burdensome. The sick person is a “public captive,” so we have to be the ones to reduce unhelpful visits.

6. Be super patient

No one wants to be sick. So the patient is probably worried by the situation, especially if he is young and has been in bed for a while. We need to help him make the most of his time with hobbies and activities he didn’t necessarily do before (things he can do with his hands, reading a good book, etc.).

7. Make meals interesting

Switch it up. For example, if she has to eat vegetables, choose a wide variety. If there are big dietary restrictions, get creative with the presentation. (Use Instagram or Pinterest for ideas.) Sometimes it’s enough just to fold the napkin into an interesting shape. If it’s a child, we can serve the food on paper party plates with fun cartoon characters. If it’s an adult, offer him a nice linen napkin. Invent little celebrations to break the routine of the week — for example, make it special because it’s Sunday.

pixabay

8. Prepare the bathroom

Make sure there is always a towel within easy reach, as well as fresh toiletries.

9. Smile

Most of all, don’t forget that your smile is the best gift for someone who’s not feeling well. They need all of the practical things, but they also need to experience that love in a personal way. Again, no one wants to be sick … but being cared for with affection, patience, creativity, and joy can make the whole experience a lot easier for them to bear.


GRACE LI,SHIXIA HUANG

Read more:
Mom goes to extraordinary lengths to check up on sick daughter


Glitter Pills

Read more:
What it’s like to live with an invisible illness

Tags:
FamilyLove
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
2
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
3
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
4
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
7
Frei Giuseppe Ungaro
Aleteia
The 100-year-old Franciscan who knew 6 saints in person
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.