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Visit the Sick

Sometimes we can get squeamish about being around hospitals or nursing homes, but this work of mercy invites us to visit someone who is in the hospital or is housebound. The touch of a hand, a hug and real eye contact are great healers to the human spirit.  Visiting the sick can be challenging for those of us who are healthy, and yet the great gift we receive is the new compassion that is carved out in our hearts as we listen to those who are frail or even dying.

Can I volunteer to bring food to the homes of the elderly and isolated through a program like Meals On Wheels (in the US)?  While I deliver food to an elder, I am also talking with that person, offering conversation and a safety check for those who are often so deeply lonely.   Programs like these keep “millions of seniors healthy, safe and living independently in their own homes each year.”

Listening and ... More?

Besides empathetic listening, what can I do to make the life of a sick person a little better? Can I pick up a book at the library?   If reading is Visit the Sick-St. Johns Church at Creightonnot practical, what kind of music or audio book might he/she like?

Holidays are especially hard for people who are sick, not only because of the isolation caused by their illness, but their inability to get around often means they can’t participate in the ways they used to.   Gift-giving occasions can be especially challenging for those who are hospitalized or housebound.  We could help out by getting a gift list from someone unable to shop and offer to buy and wrap their gifts for them.   

If we can’t visit, we can keep in touch with cards dropped in the mail on a periodic basis – we all love to get mail.  If there is email contact, write regularly and send photos of family – or Skype if it is possible.

Let us Hear Your Ideas

"I feel as though family should be a top priority.  We often forget that the people closest to us may need a stretched out hand as well."
- Joshua C.

Have more ideas on Visit the Sick? Add them here.

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