What to say when your friend is sick

Get Well Wishes: What to Write in a Get Well Card

By Keely Chace on August 30, 2018

It’s not always easy finding the words to write in a get-well card. We want to offer what comfort we can. We want to bring a smile in the middle of a tough day. We definitely DON’T want to say something insensitive.

Well, relax, because there are plenty of warm, hopeful, encouraging and even funny things you can say to someone who’s injured or ill. And whatever you write, the simple gesture of reaching out with a card will go a long way toward lifting that person’s spirits.

The get-well wishes you write will depend a lot on your recipient and his or her specific health situation. Whether it’s a minor injury or a serious illness, Hallmark’s writers have message ideas to guide you. We hope our tips take some of the pressure off and help you extend a little heartfelt caring to someone who needs it.

  • Get-Well Wishes
  • For Family or Friends
  • For a Child
  • Offer to Help
  • Serious Injury or Illness
  • Terminal Illness
  • Warm Closings

Get-Well Wishes  

You don’t have to write a whole lot to lift your recipient’s spirits in a big way. It’s fine to keep your personal message short, sweet and upbeat—especially when the card itself has already said quite a bit.


  • “Hope you get to feeling better soon!”
  • “Looking forward to seeing you back at practice when you’re ready.”
  • “Wishing you well.”
  • “Take extra good care!”
  • “Here’s to you—steadier, stronger and better every day.”
  • “We hope you’re taking it slow and easy right now.”
  • “Take your sweet time getting well!”
  • “Sending good, healthy vibes your way.”
  • “Warmest wishes for a speedy recovery!”
  • “Miss you around here!”
  • “Lifting you up in my prayers during your treatments.”
  • “I’m sure you’ll be up to your old tricks again in no time!”
  • “Hope you feel a little better every day.”
  • “You’re in all our warmest thoughts as you recover from your accident.”
  • “Hope it won’t be long till you’re out of the hospital.”
  • “Think of this as the universe telling you to watch more TV.
  • “Hope you’re catching up on your cookbook reading!”

Writing tip: A short “miss you” message can be great for a classmate, co-worker or neighbor confined to a hospital or home because of an injury or illness. It’s a nice little reminder that they’re important to you.

For Family or Friends  

Get-well wishes expressing love, gratitude and support are great for family or friends facing illness or injury. A healthy dose of humor can also make a nice, uplifting message for someone you know well.


  • “You mean so much to me. Hope you’re feeling better very soon.”
  • “Hope it helps a little to know how lovingly you’re thought of.”
  • “God bless you through your recovery.”
  • “Just sending a little get-well sunshine your way because you’re always a bright spot in my days.”
  • “Love you and think of you all the time.”
  • “Love you…hate that you’re sick.”
  • “I know you, and I know you’ll beat this.
  • “Ugh. I hate it when my favorite people get hurt.”
  • “I have faith that you’ll be better really soon.”
  • “Sending hugs and love.”
  • “Saying extra prayers for your recovery.”
  • “No fair. You’re way too nice to be this sick.”
  • “The things you’ll do for attention! 😉 Well, you’ve got mine for as long as this takes.”
  • “Get better and get back to your amazing self soon!”
  • “I realize just how much I need you when you’re out of commission.”
  • “If you need me to come over and tell you that you don’t look sick, call me.”
  • “Go ahead and milk this as long as you can. I would.”

Writing tip: Steer clear of serious advice about treating a health issue, but feel free to offer more general and lighthearted tips about resting up, healing and passing the time. Those should come as a welcome distraction and day brightener.

For a Child  

A get-well message to a child is a chance to encourage, send a hug or a smile, and take their mind off the scary or unpleasant stuff for a little while.


  • “Use your superpowers and get well soon!”
  • “You’re being so brave, [Princess]. Love you lots.”
  • “[Baxter] and I are thinking about you. He says ‘Woof,’ which is doggy for ‘Feel better soon!’”
  • “There are easier ways to get out of school, you know. Glad you’re on the mend.”
  • “I know things are tough right now. I know you’re tougher.”
  • “You are way cooler than this. You’ll be back to your awesome self soon.”
  • “Please come back home from the hospital soon! Your toys really miss you.”
  • “Wishing on every star that you get better soon.”
  • “Can’t wait to see you smiling again!”
  • “Sorry things are so un-fun right now. Hoping that changes soon.”
  • “Sick stinks. You rock. Get well soon!”
  • “Even school is cool when you’re here. Hope to see you back soon.”
  • “Like a big ol’ basketball, you’ll bounce back!”
  • “I bet your friends miss you at school. You’re very miss-able.
  • “See? You’re so great, even germs like you!”
  • “Ouch! I’m so sorry about your broken leg, [Emma]. Sending you lots of feel-better hugs.”
  • “So sorry to hear your ankle will keep you out of action for the rest of the season. Hope you’re able to focus on resting, healing and coming back stronger than ever next year!”
  • “Bye-bye tonsils. Hello feeling lots better!”

Writing tip: If you’re sending a get-well gift along with your card, you could mention it in your message: “I hope hugging this teddy bear helps you feel better!”

Offer to Help  

If you’re able to help with meals, housework, childcare or something else while your recipient is laid up, then feel free to include an offer to do so as part of your message. Just be sure to follow up and follow through.


  • “I’d love to help around the house until you’re up and around again. I’ll text to see about a good time to come over.
  • “You’re going to beat this thing! Until then, don’t worry about the lawn. We’ve got it covered.”
  • “You need it, I got it. Whatever it is.”
  • “For now, let somebody else do all the doing. I’d love to bring over some meals, for starters.”
  • “I promise I won’t pretend that I can cook for you. How’s takeout sound?”
  • “No matter what, no matter when, I want to be there for you. I’ll be in touch soon.”
  • “We’re having fun getting [Ella] to and from school with us. Hope that makes one less thing to worry about as you heal up.”
  • “Don’t worry about a thing while you’re in the hospital. There’s a whole crew of ‘elves’ taking care of everything. Hope those doctors are taking good care of you!”
  • “I’m here for you. For whatever. For as long as you need.”
  • “We’ll pick up and clean up. You rest up.”

Writing tip: In general, the more specific your offer of help, the better. And no task is too small.

Serious Injury or Illness  

Don’t let your fear of saying the wrong thing keep you from saying anything at all to someone facing a serious injury or illness. Writing a few lines in a card is a relatively comfortable way to reach out—and your caring will come through loud and clear, whatever you write.


  • “I was so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Sending lots of caring thoughts your way as you begin treatment.”
  • “Praying you’ll feel God’s healing hand at work in you.”
  • “I don’t know why bad things like cancer have to happen to good people like you. But I want you to know how much I’m thinking about you and how much I want to help in whatever way I can.”
  • “Whatever makes you feel better, that’s what I wish for you as you work through your physical therapy.”
  • “Praying with you.”
  • “I don’t know what to say, except I love you and I’m thinking of you.”
  • “Let’s hang out. As soon as you’re ready, I’m ready.”
  • “Wishing you some well-deserved good days to make up for all the crummy ones lately.”
  • “This is some serious @#$%. I’m ready to take it on together.
  • “Call me when you’re up to it. It would be great to hear your voice.”
  • “I’ve seen a million of your smiles, and I’m gonna see a million more…”

Writing tip: If you don’t know what to say, it’s fine to admit it. Your recipient will still appreciate hearing from you, along with your willingness to be honest and real with them.

Terminal Illness  

Even when we know for sure that someone is not going to get well, it’s still important to reach out in caring.


  • “Thinking about you every day. Have [Steve] let me know if you’d like a visitor sometime.”
  • “Thoughts of you are always some of my happiest. Always will be.”
  • “It’s good to know you’re receiving wonderful care.”
  • “Praying with you.”
  • “In my heart and in my prayers. Always…especially now.”
  • “Thinking about you today and hoping it’s a good one for you.”
  • “It’s always so great when we get together and talk about everything and nothing. I would love for us to do that again soon.”
  • “I’m praying for a miracle cure. Hey, doesn’t hurt to ask!”
  • “Just wanted to remind you how important you are to me.”
  • “You’re in all our warmest thoughts and prayers.”
  • “Hope you feel all the love surrounding you right now.”

Writing tip: Near the end of life, there’s a natural opportunity, not only to speak, but also to listen. Consider making your written message an offer to call or visit and do just that.

Warm Closings  

A warm closing before your signature is a perfect way to wrap up any get-well message. Choose one of ours, or come up with one of your own.

  • Warmly,
  • Love,
  • With love,
  • Lots of love,
  • Love always,
  • Love and prayers,
  • Thinking of you,
  • Take care,
  • Take extra good care,
  • Best wishes as you recover,
  • Wishing you healing,
  • Wishing you rest,
  • Wishing you health,
  • Good health to you,
  • Happy healing,
  • Gratefully,
  • Blessings,
  • God bless you,
  • Be well,
  • Tags:
  • Connect
  • Greeting Card Messages and Ideas
  • Credits:
  • Additional contributions from Allyson Cook, Jake Gahr, Matt Gowen, Megan Haave and Molly Wigand.
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What to Say when Someone Is Sick

Get WellSick

Saying “Get Well Soon” may be the most popular reason people come to Spoonful of Comfort. Our Get Well soup gift baskets are a big part of our story. After all, what makes friends feel better than a bowl of soup served up with warm wishes?

It’s this last part that brings a lot of questions to our team. What do you say when someone is sick? What are some examples of Get Well Soon messages? What do you say when someone has a serious illness? What do you say to a friend who has cancer? How do you stay professional saying “Get Well” to a co-worker?

People are worried about saying the wrong thing, but there are different ways to give someone strength during a difficult time. Here are some answers, advice, and examples compiled by the Get Well gift specialists at Spoonful of Comfort.

Writing a Get Well Soon card

When someone is seriously ill–or even just on a minor sick leave–encouraging words can brighten an otherwise crummy day. But what do you say besides, “Get Well Soon?” Your warm wishes might be short or long, but the best get well cards generally include comforting words for a sick person using messages with three parts:

1. Say Get Well in a way that’s personal and sincere.

Your words of encouragement feel more thoughtful when you write a Get Well card that speaks just to the recipient. What can you say to someone who is sick that makes them feel loved or valued? What can you say that reflects your relationship?

Maybe it’s an inside joke. Maybe you have a shared mantra or story that motivates you both. Write something that feels and sounds like it’s coming from you.

Examples of personal Get Well wishes:

  • A note to remind you that I love you—and I hate that you’re sick.
  • I hate it when my favorite people get hurt. Please bounce back soon.
  • I miss having you around. You owe me some make-up fun once you’re better.
  • Sending you lots of feel-better hugs.
  • Get better and get back to your amazing self soon!
  • I can’t tell you how to get better. But I’m always around to confirm you look amazing. Call if you need some extra morale!
  • How about some chicken soup, jello, and daytime TV? I’m ready when you are.
  • Wishing you some well-deserved good days to make up for all the crummy ones lately.
  • Call me when you’re up to it. It would be great to hear your voice.

If you’d like to borrow someone else’s words, consider using a get well quote about taking a positive outlook.

2. Show your support when you send Get Well wishes.

When you’re sick or injured, you don’t feel much like yourself—and you often don’t feel like doing much of anything. A Get Well card can remind someone that you’re there for them. Talk about your friendship. Offer to help do things they can’t right now. If you can’t do things physically, extend moral support. And then follow through.

Examples of offering support in a Get Well card

  • Thinking about you every day. Have [Steve] let me know if you’d like a visitor sometime.
  • I don’t know why bad things have to happen to good people like you. But I want you to know how much I’m thinking about you. I’ll check in with you often if that’s okay.
  • I’d love to help around the house until you’re up and around again. I’ll text to see about a good time to come over.
  • Don’t worry about garbage day or taking care of your lawn. We’ve got things covered.
  • I’ll drop off a freezer meal every Sunday; use it as you need it.
  • You know I can’t cook, but I can order takeout with the best of them. How about Chinese food next weekend?
  • I’m sorry I’m not there with you in person, but I’m sending prayers every day.
  • It’s got to be hard spending time in the hospital. I’m around for texts or conversations whenever you’re feeling lonely. Please call.
  • We’re having fun getting [Ashley] to and from school. Take carpooling off your list while you’re healing.
  • I’m here for you. For whatever. For as long as you need.
  • We’ll pick up and clean up. You rest up.

Find some great quotes about friendship and its importance while people are healing.

3. Thoughtful ways to close a Get Well card.

Signing off a Get Well card should be simple, but sometimes “Yours truly” or “Sincerely” don’t sound quite right. Here are suggestions for thoughtful ways to conclude your get well card. Consider adding your own comforting words for a sick person.

Examples of how to close a Get Well Soon card

  • Be well,
  • Best wishes as you recover,
  • Blessings,
  • God bless you,
  • Good health to you,
  • Gratefully,
  • Happy healing,
  • Lots of love,
  • Love always,
  • Love and prayers,
  • Love,
  • Sending hugs and love!
  • Take care,
  • Take extra good care,
  • Thinking of you,
  • Warmly,
  • Wishing you healing,
  • Wishing you health,
  • Wishing you rest,
  • With love,

What to write in a Get Well card for different circumstances

Now that we’ve shared the basics of what to write in your Get Well message (something personal and sincere, a show of support, and a thoughtful closing line), let’s talk about different reasons for Get Well cards. Because not every message fits all.

For example, there’s a big difference in the emotional needs of someone out with the flu compared to a patient just diagnosed with cancer. You’ll send a different kind of Get Well card to a child than you would to a colleague or client. Here are some considerations for what to say when someone is sick.

Get Well cards for someone with cancer or a terminal illness

When someone you know has cancer or is diagnosed with another serious illness or injury, you can never go wrong offering comfort and words of encouragement. When asked what they need to hear most, many cancer patients want the people they know to “be normal.”

Don’t try to be more emotional, or funny, or knowledgeable than your interactions before the diagnosis. And remember that everyone’s experience is different. People facing a serious illness are likely to experience denial, anger, sadness, acceptance, and other emotions at different times, maybe even all at once. Respect their feelings. Empathize in the moment. Remember that the illness is not the only thing going on in their life.

Examples of what to say to a sick person about cancer, chemo, or serious illness:

  • Thinking about you today and hoping it’s a good one for you.
  • It’s always so great when we get together and talk about everything and nothing. I would love for us to do that again soon.
  • I’m praying for a miracle cure. Hey, doesn’t hurt to ask!
  • Just wanted to remind you how important you are to me.
  • This must be a tough time for you.
  • I can’t imagine how you feel.
  • I’m sorry you’re going through something like this.
  • I don’t know what to say.
  • I’m here for you if you want to talk.
  • What are you thinking of doing this week, and how can I help?
  • I’d like to bring you a moment of joy. What would you like to do right now?
  • Mention their interests, hobbies, and passions.

If you’re writing a Get Well card to someone with cancer, we suggest also reading our article, What to Say to Someone with Cancer. You’ll find insightful ideas about addresses serious illnesses—many suggested by people who themselves are living with cancer.

Get Well message after surgery

Having surgery may be related to an ongoing illness (see cues in other sections), or it might be a one-time operation. Either way, a get well soon message after surgery will be appreciated. Think about the reason for the person’s surgery in the tone you use. How will their life be different during or after recovery? Consider including your good vibes for the doctors and medical care staff as well.

Some examples of what to write in a Get Well surgery card message:

  • It’s good to know you’re receiving wonderful medical care.
  • Not everyone gets a re-do on their health. Good luck during recovery!
  • Wishing you the best as you heal and improve.
  • Wishing you and your doctors all the best during your surgery.
  • Looking forward to spending time with the new-and-improved you.



    You may spend a good part of your week with people at the office. When someone is not well, don’t hesitate to share your good wishes. Just remember to share some common-sense best practices to keep your Get Well message professional. You may want to share a Get Well message on behalf of the whole team.

    Examples of what to say to a co-worker who is sick:

    • Hoping you find strength with each new day. You are in our thoughts.
    • Work isn’t the same without you there. Once you feel better, we’ll feel better too.
    • Looking forward to seeing you back at our 4th-floor home-away-from-home.
    • I’m sure you’ll be wow-ing our clients again when you recover.
    • Don’t worry about the monthly reports. We’ve got them covered.
    • I am incredibly sorry to hear that you are unwell. While you recover, I hope you are surrounded by the warmth of those you love. Get well soon.
    • Hope you feel a little better every day.
    • Best wishes for a little progress and a little encouragement every day during your recuperation.

    Learn more about saying "get well" to a colleague, business partner, or client.

    Writing Get Well cards to kids

    Being sick is never fun. Even less so for kids. They may not fully understand their illness, but they can know you care for them. Help them feel better by sharing loving, light-hearted wishes. Use language that’s right for their age and that they’ll understand.

    Some examples of what to say in Get Well cards to kids:

    • Wow, everybody likes you—even the germs! Tell them to go home. I hope you feel better soon!
    • Is this your secret plan to stay home from school? Glad you’re on the mend.
    • Use your superpowers and get well soon!
    • You’re being so brave, [Amelia]. Keep feeling better.
    • Things are pretty tough right now, but I bet you’re tougher.
    • Your toys can’t wait for you to come back! Feel better soon.
    • Wishing on every star that you get better quick.
    • Can’t wait to see you smiling again!
    • Sorry things are so un-fun right now. Hoping that changes soon.
    • Being sick stinks like an old sock. Get well soon!
    • Be like a basketball: bounce back fast!
    • Bye-bye tonsils. Hello to happy, healthy days ahead!

    Sending religious Get Well wishes

    Sharing expressions of faith can help strengthen someone’s spirit along with their body. Even when your religious practices or beliefs differ, most people will appreciate the sincerity of your beliefs. Faith can bring comforting words for a sick person.

    Some examples of religious thoughts to include with Get Well wishes:

    • Praying with you.
    • You’re in all our warmest thoughts and prayers.
    • I ask God each night for your healing. I wish you a quick recovery!
    • Thoughtful prayers are being sent your way with the hopes that you will feel better soon.
    • Thinking of you during this time of illness, and praying you will find strength in the Lord and his never-ending supply of love.
    • God cares and hears our prayers. Mine are for you today.
    • Know God promises to give strength when you need it.
    • We don’t always get to know the reasons God has us face challenges. He has a bigger plan, and you are in His hands.
    • Prayer is the best medicine I can offer. A healthy dose of prayer is coming your way.
    • Hope each day finds you stronger and full of joy. God Bless You.
    • Lifting you up in my prayers during your treatments.
    • God bless you through your recovery.
    • Saying extra prayers for your recovery.
    • Praying you’ll feel God’s healing hand at work in you.

    Find some religious Get Well quotes and scriptures to include in your card.

    Include a Get Well gift from Spoonful of Comfort

    What you write in a Get Well card is the heart of your wish to a loved one. We can help express it with additional warmth and care. The original soup care package at Spoonful of Comfort came from a desire to help people feel better. Packaged in a wow-sized box and packed with cheerfulness, a Get Well care package includes a healthy-size container of feel-better soup, six soft and chewy rolls, six decadent cookies, and a shiny ladle to serve up the smiles.

    You are reading a post from our Get Well Gifts Guide. Read on for more great ideas to help those you love (including yourself!) get well soon! 


    Get Well Gift Ideas

    • 103 Unique Get Well Gift Ideas [Your Ultimate Guide]
    • 30+ Gift Basket Ideas for Your Sick Friend
    • DIY Get Well Soon Gift Basket To Have Sick Friends Feeling Better
    • Care Package Ideas for a Sick Girlfriend
    • Get Well Gifts for Men
    • How to Make Your Sick Boyfriend Feel Better


    Get Well Food & Flix

    • 12 Soups to Eat When You Feel Sick
    • Why Chicken Soup Makes Us Feel Better
    • Best Comfort Foods Comfort Foods to Eat While Sick [Recipes Included]
    • 35+ Best Movies & Netflix Shows To Watch When Sick


    Get Well - For the Hospital

    • Hospital Gift Baskets: What to Send For Someone In the Hospital
    • 25+ Best After-Surgery Care Package Ideas For Your Family & Friends
    • 38 Get Well Messages & Best Wishes After Surgery

    How to Wish Them Well

    • How To Write Get Well Messages, Greetings & Wishes
    • What to Say When Someone Is Sick [Words of Encouragement]
    • 50 Favorite Get Well Quotes
    • How to Say Get Well to a Colleague


    Get Well Packages from Spoonful

     ➜ Total TLC Package

    ➜ Get Well Soon Gift Package

    ➜Mini Sick Day Care Package

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    How to support a loved one who is seriously ill


    It is very difficult to find out that the person you love is ill, had an accident or received a terrible diagnosis. Perhaps this is the most difficult thing that many face in life. But unfortunately, no one is immune from such a situation.

    “A person may be shocked, frightened, preoccupied with their thoughts, or overwhelmed with anxiety for their loved one,” says Anna Moyer, professor of psychology at Stony Brook University. nine0005

    “All these feelings are perfectly normal. Any significant health problem is a powerful change in life, it is always scary, ”adds Melody Vinaver, a neurologist and neurophysiologist at Columbia University.

    “Suddenly, all plans go to waste: expectations and ideas about how life should have gone in general collapse,” Melody continues. “And this sudden change is very difficult to survive. Both."

    There are no clear rules and guidelines on how to deal with a crisis. But there are some key principles to keep in mind to support your loved one. So, what is worth and what is not worth doing if a loved one is seriously ill. nine0005


    “It's better to say something than not to say anything,” says Ron Blake, a survivor of sexual abuse and now struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. - You can even say something like "I don't know what to say, I just want to say at least something." In this way, you will let your loved one know that you are nearby, ready to help. Silence destroys."

    If a person does not know what to say, but makes it clear that he recognizes and sees the current situation, then he does not deny it. It's worth trying to genuinely express empathy, such as, "I don't know how I can help, but I'm with you," or "I feel terrible, but I'll do anything to help you," Moyer suggests. nine0005

    Think only of yourself

    “It's human nature to focus on one's self,” says neurologist Melody Winaver. But you need to try to refrain from this when communicating with a loved one who has learned a terrible diagnosis. It is important to abstract from yourself, not to take yourself into account, but to give the other person the opportunity to say what he feels and try not to be intrusive.

    “You can say something along the lines of: “I can’t even imagine how you feel right now. How do you?" or “I have no idea how to behave in this situation, but I would really like to understand how you feel,” Dr. Vinaver suggests. nine0005

    Offer specific help

    Many people think it's okay to offer help something like, "If you need anything, just let me know." “However, this puts a person who has learned about a serious diagnosis in a difficult and strange position: he will have to think about how exactly you can help him,” says Nick Arquette, founder and CEO of Walking with Sally Foundation (Walk with Sally), which helps families whose loved ones have cancer. nine0005

    “When your friend or loved one finds out about a difficult diagnosis, one of the best ways to show support is to save them the trouble of asking,” says Nick. - In other words, take on their daily worries, for example, washing or paying and sending invoices on time, cooking dinner for the whole family. Or simply offer to walk down the street together and get some fresh air so that the person can talk, open up and clear his head if he needs it.

    Kristina Pandapas was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer at the age of 46. “If someone cooks food for the whole family, this is a huge help. If someone can take the children to their matinees at school. Or maybe take them to her place for the night,” she says. “Anything that can somehow add fun and a sense of normality reduces the stress of the whole family.” nine0005

    You can also ask the partner of the sick person what kind of help will bring the most benefit. “It is far from easy for everyone to accept the help that is offered,” says Christina. “My husband became a real expert at this and helped his friends deal with my ego.”

    Play an expert

    Even if a doctor with experience in managing patients with a similar disease wants to support a friend, you need to remember that each person has his own personal, always individual experience. What can we say about other situations. nine0005

    “Most people who have a health problem have a team of specialists who supervise them,” says Christina Pandapas. “And most likely, your loved one does not need incompetent recommendations that will be based on the experience of your great-aunt’s great-nephew.”

    “You also shouldn't be overly optimistic, no matter how well-intentioned you are,” said Rachel Soper Sanders, who was in a severe car accident and lives with chronic pain. “Don’t tell a person ‘everything will be fine,’ because no one really knows what will happen.” nine0005

    According to Rachel, don't assume that a person is fine just because they look good on the outside. With many diseases, there are no visible changes, so comments about appearance can sound peremptory and even hurt.


    Of course, knowing how the person you love is doing is important. But it’s better not to ask questions like “How are you? How are you?” because they may inadvertently remind a person of their illness. nine0005

    “I was always fine until someone asked me how I was doing. And then I could hardly hold back the tears,” shares Christina Pandapas.

    If you really need to know about a person’s treatment or well-being, it’s better to ask “What’s the news?”

    Take rejection to heart

    “Each person reacts differently to their disease and condition. For most, discussing their problems brings relief, but there will be those who do not want to open up, ”comments Melody Vinaver. nine0005

    Do not put pressure on a person if they are not ready to speak. The best thing to say is, "Just let me know if you want me to leave or stop asking questions - it won't hurt me," Vinaver says. “Try to learn how to keep pauses, not try to fill them with some phrases about yourself. Sometimes a person needs to be close to someone, but in silence.

    Giving a sense of “normality”

    “Realize that being around someone who is having health problems is a constant search for balance. says Christina Pandapas. “Maybe he needs support. But there may come a moment when he gets tired of being a patient. If you are around and go about your normal life as you always do - watching TV, talking about everyday things, walking your dog and talking about anything but illness - it will bring great relief. nine0005

    Rachel Sanders could not leave the house for a long time after the accident. Her relationships with people and social interaction suffered greatly because of this. “What a joy it was when there was someone next to me with whom you could just have a chat, who could just be at home with me,” she recalls.


    “When everyone hears about a diagnosis or immediately after an incident, there is usually a burst of activity and willingness to help,” Melody Winaver says. - But after a few days or weeks, many people disappear, despite the fact that the person continues to live in the conditions of the disease and his diagnosis. Stay close as long as possible, send SMS from time to time, this will show that you care about the condition of your loved one, give him or her a certificate for a massage or manicure. nine0005

    Kristina Pandapas says that during her recovery, her friends were always there and supportive, which meant a lot to her.

    “They had some amazing, irrational sense of time. When I was tired and I had a breakdown, the courier suddenly called and brought me flowers, or one of my friends wrote me a very heartfelt letter just to find out how I was, ”Kristina shares. “Perhaps the most important thing for me was that they highly appreciated my strength. And it helped me a lot to maintain those very forces.” nine0005


    How to support a seriously ill person

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    A person among peopleCoronavirusPractices how to

    “The world has collapsed”, “the ground has gone from under their feet” – this is how patients and their relatives describe their condition after the terrible news. “Having learned about what happened, you are most likely confused, shocked, scared,” suggests Anne Moyer, assistant professor of psychology at Stony Brook University.

    “Whatever feelings you have, they are normal. Any serious health problem means significant changes in life, and this is always scary, agrees Melody Winever, a neurologist and neurophysiologist from Columbia University. Your plans and expectations are coming to an end. It is difficult for both you and the patient himself to comprehend and realize this sudden change. nine0005

    There is no universal formula for how to deal with a situation. There are details that you need to remember when trying to support a loved one.

    1. First reaction: say at least something

    You just found out that a misfortune happened to a loved one. “Better to find at least some words than to remain silent,” says Ron Blake, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to sexual abuse. - Say at least something: for example, that you don’t know what words to choose. Silence at such a moment is very depressing. nine0005

    Most importantly, make it clear that you understand the seriousness of the situation

    Speak sincerely and with empathy, for example: “I don’t know how to help yet, but you are very important to me” or “I want to help you in every way I can. "

    2. Don't focus on yourself

    "We all think of ourselves first - it's human nature," Melody Winever explains. But when dealing with a seriously ill loved one, try not to succumb to this natural desire. "Bracket yourself" and give him the opportunity to share his feelings and experiences. For example, you could say, “I can’t even imagine how you feel right now. Would you like to share it?" nine0005

    3. Don't ask how to help, just help

    It would seem natural to suggest to the patient: "If you need any help, just say it." “But it can put him in an awkward position, and he will have to think about what you can do for him,” explains Nick Arquette, founder and head of a charity that helps relatives of cancer patients. “The best thing you can do for a loved one is to save him from having to ask you for help.”

    Take on some of his daily chores: laundry, paying bills, cooking. Or just offer to take a walk: during the walk, he will be able to speak out, share his pain.

    Christina Pandapas, who was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at the age of 46, agrees that even the simplest signs of attention and support mean a lot. “The best help is to cook dinner for the whole family, take the children to school, take them to some activities, or even leave them for the night. Do something that will give the patient and his family joy and a sense of normalcy.” nine0005

    If you don't want to bother the patient with questions, you can check with his partner about the best way to help. Some people feel uncomfortable asking for help directly, even if they really need it.

    4. Don't be an expert

    Even if you are a doctor or have experienced a similar injury or illness, remember that each person's experience is unique. “Most often, a group of specialists is engaged in the treatment of a seriously ill patient. It is unlikely that they need advice from amateurs who supposedly know everything, because the wife of their second cousin was ill with the same, ”explains Christina Pandapas. nine0005

    They don’t need your overly optimistic forecasts, even if you make them with the best of intentions

    “You don’t need to tell the patient that everything will be fine, because in reality no one knows for sure whether it will,” says Rachel Souper Sanders suffering from chronic pain after a serious car accident.

    Do not make hasty conclusions about the patient's condition by his appearance. Many health problems are invisible from the outside, and it may be unpleasant for the patient to hear that everything is supposedly in order with him. nine0005

    5. Try to cheer up

    “It's best not to ask the patient how he feels, even if you really want to know. So you just once again remind him of the disease, - shares Christina Pandapas. “Personally, I didn’t think about her most of the time, but when someone started asking me how I was feeling, I could hardly hold back tears.”

    Instead of tormenting the patient with questions, simply cheer him up: “You are an amazing person!” And if you still want to know how he's feeling or how he's progressing with treatment, ask, "What's new?" nine0005


    If the patient is not in the mood to talk, do not take it personally

    Everyone copes with the illness in their own way. “Most people in this situation are happy to have someone to talk to, but there are those who are not ready to talk openly about health,” Melody Winever explains.

    Both options are normal - do not pressure someone who does not want to talk about his illness

    It is better to say: “If you want me to leave or don’t torment you with questions, just say it. I will not be offended!" It is also desirable to learn not to feel discomfort from silence. You should not immediately break it by telling something from your life. Perhaps the patient needs silence at the moment. nine0005

    7. Help bring back a sense of normalcy

    “Support should be varied. Feeling sick is terribly tiring,” says Christina Pandapas. Spend time with him doing something ordinary: go to yoga together, walk the dogs, talk about things that are not related to his illness - all this will help the patient to distract from gloomy thoughts.

    Rachel Sanders was unable to leave her home due to injuries sustained in the accident, which had a negative impact on her social life and relationships. “It was great when someone just came to talk to me,” she recalls. nine0005

    8. Don't disappear

    Immediately after an injury or a serious diagnosis, the patient is usually surrounded by vigilant care. But after a few days or weeks, many of those who first paid attention to him disappear, although the disease has not disappeared. Tune in to the fact that your support will be needed for a long time.

    Don't forget the little things: for example, you can regularly send messages of support to the patient

    Christina Pandapas says that her friends continued to help and support her until she got better, and this meant a lot to her: “They were surprisingly sensitive to the right moment. When I was tired and felt worse, flowers would suddenly appear at my doorstep or a friend would call.

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