Being There

Creating a ring of support around a friend is a great way to help provide practical help when they need it most. Below is a list of ideas for how you can help a friend. We hope this gives you a place to start.

• Offer transportation to and from medical appointments. If visits are long, such as for chemotherapy, be a “chemo buddy” and sit with your friend. Bring along music, games and books to help lighten the mood. Or, just be there to talk or hold a hand.

• Bring meals or snacks to your friend. Be sure to ask about any special dietary requirements or changes.

• Go grocery shopping

• Offer to clean house once or twice a month

• Do dishes every week on a schedule

• Babysit or help shuttle children to before and after-school activities

• Pet sit, or take pets outside for walks

• Pray for or with your friend

• Take out the garbage

• Pick up mail or deliver mail to the post office

• Do yardwork once or twice a month, or weekly if able

• Offer to run errands for a patient or caregiver

• If needed, organize a fundraiser to help cover medical or living expenses. Check with your local bank for assistance and regulations.

• If needed, help your friend organize and pay bills on a schedule

• Water houseplants

• Rent interesting books on tape or movies. Offer to watch or listen with your friend if he/she is up to it.

• Read the paper or books to your friend

• Help set up an email list or care page for keeping family and friends updated

• Make your visits fairly short and routine. Just sit with your friend if he or she is not up to talking.

• For friends in a nursing home, bring a guest book that visitors can sign. Your friend can refer to the guest book often to read well wishes and remember who has made a visit.

• Share photo albums, especially appreciated by older friends. Rotate them every week or two.