15 Things You Can Do for Your Friend with Chronic Illness

By Maureen DeGarmo and Lisa Mark, C.P.O.

  1. Invite her to an event, even if you know that she cannot come.
  2. Offer to bring dinner and a movie on a Friday night.
  3. Take her kids on an outing.
  4. Ask thoughtful questions, and then listen to the answers.
  5. Refrain from judging.
  6. Refrain from suggesting the latest treatment. She may have already tried it.
  7. Keep her updated on what is happening in your life. Isolation makes the disease worse.
  8. Avoid saying, “I know how you feel.”
  9. Make a specific commitment, such as calling once a week to check in.
  10. If she likes dogs, but doesn’t have one, bring your dog over for a visit.
  11. Or your cat.
  12. Share photos of your latest adventure or your children’s activities.
  13. Better yet, share photos of her children’s activities, especially if she cannot attend.
  14. Ask her if locating resources would be helpful. Then, follow through. The Illness Warrior’s Resource List is a great place to start.
  15. Ask her what she needs you to do, and then do it.

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