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Five Ideas That Shower A Little #Kindness On Someone Who Is Ill

It was Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17. For many of us, we don't need a day to remind us that kindness is an everyday kind of act. We seize those moments to bring a little light into the life when someone else. However, there are special, less random acts of kindness as well, particularly when someone we know is ill. 

I am reminded of an instance a few years ago when a friend of mine was hospitalized following a seizure and exacerbation of her Multiple Sclerosis.  At the time, my husband and I were living on the East Coast and I had no way to personally visit her in the hospital. Beyond the typical delivery of flowers or balloons, I wanted to give something that would truly be helpful to her and her family.  Many times, our first response is to try and “fix” a situation when we recognize a need. That desire may be even greater when it’s someone you know well.  I focused my efforts on ways to assist my friend in spite of the long distance between us.

Regardless of your physical location or that of the person who might need a little extra support, there are definitely meaningful things that you can do to show you care. 

Here are a few ideas to consider:

A Daily Note: Many hospitals have a service that allows you to write a daily email to a friend or family member.  Other hospitals have a volunteer personally deliver a note every day to a patient’s room.  What wonderful ways to share words of encouragement, a quote or even a funny joke to brighten someone’s day and make sure they know you’re thinking of them every day.

Personal Service: Personal service companies were originally created to assist disabled individuals with everyday tasks they found problematic.  Later these services were extended to busy executives and the general public who used them in multiple ways to manage their busy lives.  People who are discharged from the hospital and find they will be house bound for some time might benefit from receiving a gift certificate for personal services.  The service can include personal shopping, running errands, sorting clothes, writing letters, paying bills, etc.  Everyday tasks, though small, are things that frequently cause stress when they don’t get accomplished.

Special Meals: Consider contacting the Food Service/Dietary Department of the hospital and ask if you can purchase a gift card.  Often, an aide will personally deliver meals to the patient’s room for their spouse/partner.  This could be very helpful for friends or family members that are staying at the medical center for several days or will be returning weekly for out-patient services.  This allows the spouse/partner to eat at the hospital instead of having to pick up fast food after a long day at the hospital. 

Offer Respite: Offering to provide a couple hours of respite each week (or even sporadically) for a caregiver is a wonderful gift.  Arrange to visit the patient at a time when the caregiver can meet a friend for lunch/dinner, go to a movie or concert or just have “alone” time to take a nap.  This kindness can be done both during a friend or family members hospitalization and after discharge.  Caregivers frequently find it difficult to attend to their own personal needs.  Volunteering to walk their dog a couple times a week or write “thank you” notes for them may be just the gift they need.

Giving Food: There are many reasons why someone may have difficulty eating or swallowing while going through an illness.  Even though the person may be on a restricted diet, there are ways that you can still nourish them with food.  Always visit first with the family or medical staff and ask for their help in selecting food items that are appropriate.

And, depending upon the person’s diet prescription, finger foods might be a welcome change. This can include: French Toast cut into strips, gelatin squares, banana slices or an EAT Bar. 

Shower someone you know with a bit of kindness and send them EAT Bars today. Use the promo code KINDNESS10 for an addition 10% off your order.