I'm writing this because, as a pastor's wife, I see this problem way too often. People want to help but don't know what to do. People that should be helped are not getting the help they need
Social media has left society lonelier then ever.
Today I'm going to help you help others.
This is WHAT NOT TO DO...
NEVER SAY "If you need anything, let me know."
Scratch that phrase! Do not say it, do not text it, do not think it! It is the one of the most polite but unhelpful things you can say.
...because your patient-friend is in the hospital or has someone dear to her in the hospital. She has a thousand needs. Her family needs to be fed, her house needs to be cleaned, her laundry needs to be done. Her kids need to be watched.
She knows her hospital bills are going to be high. She doesn't always know how long this trial is going be. Her family is in need of her at home. Her husband is trying, but has work and his own needs (he may even be in that hospital bed)
Do you really think that she is going to call you and say "Hey, do you mind bringing dinner over or finding friends to bring some food? Can you clean my house? Can you pick up_______? How about giving me some $$ for gas?
Unless your friend is extremely close to you, she isn't going to ask. She may ask something for her kids but not herself.
...and so when that phrase is said, it is even more frustrating, because she wants to unload her needs, but just smiles and nods.
Throw social media DOWN THE TOILET when it comes to your close friends.
Ok, I get that half your friends on FB are really acquaintances BUT if this is a friend or a family member that you really care about, then do not just reply to a status. Go to her, or text her, call her and tell her how much you care and are worried and want to help her.
When you text, let her know your reasoning. "Can I call you?" "Can I visit OR would you like the rest?" "I want to help you, tell me something I can do to help you!" You will see suggestions tomorrow.
Communicate and gauge the situation. Your friend may not want anything but her privacy. There are people that like to be left alone, that would rather you not drop in or send messages. They would rather have their privacy. So this is where you have to communicate with them and find out what they want. "I want to help you, tell me something I can do to help you! If you want privacy and rest, please let me know :-)"
Be the advocate for your friend. Sometimes it takes just one person to step up and coordinate the care.
Tomorrow I will give you some specific things that you can do to help. Please care, someone needs it! - Rejoicing in the Present