Budget friendly ways to show a sick friend you care

Helping a Sick Friend

by Veronica Bowman

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When a friend or family member is ill, you want to express your concern. However, the expense of sending flowers might put a strain on your budget. There are numerous inexpensive or totally free ways you can demonstrate your concern for a sick friend.

The gift you give depends on each individual circumstance. You will know what type of assistance your friend or family member needs most. In almost any circumstance, you can express your concern by offering someone a gift of your time. Someone confined to home during a time of illness, injury, or recovery might greatly appreciate the delivery of a meal. You could cook something for them yourself or deliver something to them from their favorite restaurant. If your friend or family member who is ill has a pet, you could offer to pet sit for them if they are facing a stay in a hospital. If an injury is keeping them from going about their daily routine, you could offer to walk their dog, water their plants, or bring in their mail. You could run errands for them until they recover from an illness or injury. Some assistance with daily housekeeping might also be a way to show your concern. Depending on the season, you could either mow their lawn or rake leaves for them.

As an alternative to buying flowers, you could deliver a vase of fresh flowers from your garden if you have some available. A pet owner would love a small framed photo of their pet to place in their hospital room. You could create a collage of uplifting thoughts, frame it, and deliver it to their hospital room or to their home.

Sometimes, it is the person who is injured or ill that needs your help and attention. However, in many situations, it is the family members of the person who is hospitalized or recovering from a hospital stay that is in need of assistance and support. To show your concern for the stress they are under, you could again offer them some of your time. You could sit with them in a surgical waiting room and offer them comfort and support. If they are spending a great deal of time at the hospital, they might appreciate a home cooked meal delivered to them. During the hurried moments they are at home, cooking probably isn't high on their priority list. Offering to care for their child while they care for the sick family member would relieve a portion of the stress they are feeling.

You can find reasonably priced cards to send your sick friend. You might also want to send a card of encouragement and support to the person who is fulfilling the role of caregiver. Homemade cards are economical and actually often more treasured than cards you buy off of the rack.

Quite often, at the beginning of an illness, there are a lot of people visiting and calling and offering assistance. If the illness persists for a long period of time, the calls, visits and offers for assistance become less frequent. Be sure to keep in mind the individual circumstance of the person or family you are helping. Be aware of the length of the illness and continue to offer support and assistance as long as it is needed.

You never know when you will need to support or console a friend or family member. It helps to plan ahead in order to have some items on hand for creating nearly free "get well" or encouraging gifts. Keep a collection of inspiring and encouraging quotations that you clipped from magazines. You can use these to create inspirational collages to give as gifts. It is also a good idea to keep an assortment of baskets and decorative boxes on hand to use when delivering homemade meals or baked items.

Flowers are just one way to cheer someone up or show a sick friend you care. However, there are many other ways to express sentiments of concern. Giving your friend or family member a gift of your time may actually be the most helpful gift you can give them.

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