We’ve had many readers reach out and ask “what to do” for friends and family who are sick with COVID. Since COVID presents the difficult challenge of cutting out all the “usual” helpers in a crisis because of quarantine, this post will share how you can be most supportive during what can be a stressful time.
Below we list ten helpful things “to do” friends and family who are sick with COVID. Something that’s not helpful: prying, asking for too many details or making judgmental statements (i.e. Where did you get it? Did you not wear a mask? Maybe you shouldn’t have traveled after all…).
The best way to love friends and family well in times like these is to meet their needs as best as we can and offer a listening ear if or when they want to talk.
1. Send a Meal or Meals!
Even if the person doesn’t have an appetite, food is helpful for the rest of the family. Send ready-to-eat meals that need no prep work. Of course, chicken soup and bone broth are always good options for anyone who is ill.
Here are some easy food options:
- A Favor or UberEats gift card allows families to choose what they want or arrange for a local restaurant to deliver prepared foods.
- Send ready made lunches and dinners from Whole Foods via Amazon Prime.
- Spoonful of Comfort, Southern Baked Pies (chicken pot pie!) and Cooked are great to send long distance. Mom’s Meals is an option for senior citizens.
- Breakfasts and lunch foods and fresh produce are so helpful!
- Drop off a mini refrigerator for the person who can’t leave their bedroom.
- Steer away from “meal kits” as those require effort.
2. Drop Off or Send Paper Products to Help With Meals.
Seems random but so helpful! Paper towels, napkins, paper plates, plastic utensils. Even bottled water and Gatorade is great.
3. Drop Off or Send a Care Package of Drugstore Necessities.
Things like vitamins, gatorade, bottled water, a pulse oximeter, tissue paper, cleaning supplies. Any of the below are helpful:
4. Drop Off Non-Messy Activities for Children.
Click below to shop a few of my favorite ideas!
Our Under $15 Gift Guide for Children also has lots of gifts ideas perfect for this situation! Here’s a fun idea from a DSG readers: wrap up a little activity everyday for 14 days or make a 14 day quarantine countdown calendar. Another tip: put everything in a big basket for easy clean up after play!
5. Ask If Children Want to FaceTime to Play Charades or Another Game.
If the parents are sick, engage with children who are well. Classmates may want to Facetime and grandparents can read to grandchildren on FaceTime!
6. Drop Off or Send Activities or Treats for the Adults
Send a great book or email a list of favorite binge shows. Drop off a tea or smoothie (if that sounds good!). Send a cozy gift like cooling pajamas, a candle, blanket or puzzles and magazines to keep them entertained!
See our Under $30 Gift Guide for more gift ideas!
Check with a local dryer cleaner or laundry service to help ease the burden of laundry.
8. Text Encouragement to Both the Sick Spouse and Well Spouse
Tell them you are thinking and praying for them.
9. See what little things you can do.
Text if you are at Target to see if they need anything. Offer to mow their yard. Do they need help caring for a pet?
10. Send Encouraging Spotify Channels.
If someone is in bed constantly, in the hospital or just not up for watching t.v., perhaps soothing or uplifting music might help. Just email a link to this post – it has our favorite inspirational channels!
Don’t forget we have a post on what to do for someone in the hospital (some things don’t apply because of COVID but still helpful!). But one of the best ways you can help people in the hospital is to relieve the burden on immediate family members at home by doing some of the 10 things above.
If you’ve been on either side of this experience, share what was most helpful below!