We need positive stories and help when it comes to matters we don’t generally understand. In those moments of need, we seek out advice from any source possible. These days ‘google’ seems to be our go to remedy hoping it will give us an answer to a problem. Where do you go for help and advice?
Many of us have said the wrong word at the wrong time because we get all awkward around ill people. We just don’t know what to say! Here are five ways to help someone who is ill:
1. Be a good listener. No one likes to be interrupted when speaking, especially if you find it hard to express yourself. So be a good and patient listener without feeling the need to offer quick solutions. They may not want answers; just a listening ear.
Tough love often doesn’t work, even though your mother might tell you otherwise.
Refrain from using words like, ‘Cheer up, there are people worse off than out there….’. Just acknowledge their feelings, don’t rush them and try to see them as they are, not as you want them to be.
2. Be considerate. Cry or laugh with them. When they don’t want to talk, don’t try to fill in silence with nonsense despite the awkwardness of it. If they are having to decide to accept a certain treatment, do not be quick to say what you would do. No one wants to be flooded with information when they feel anxious.
You may try and constantly stay by their side. But don’t overstay your welcome. They may be tired and want to sleep. But, don’t be too quick to leave either. Make sure your loved one sees how much you care.
3. Be encouraging. It’s not only what you say, but how you say it that matters. A person with an illness just wants to be treated like a normal person. So, think of them as still being the same person you were drawn to and then, your actions and words will do the same. An ill person wants to feel cared for, understood and respected. Ensure they know you love them, and will be there for them no matter what.
4. Be helpful. Actions speak louder than words. Rather than offer general help i.e. ‘if you need anything, call me’, try to be specific. Offer help like washing and ironing clothes, running errands and driving them to and from appointments. Be punctual, and let your ‘yes’ mean yes!
Always ask what they need from you and never assume anything. In your desire to help them, don’t over take! If you let them do nothing, them may feel they can do nothing. Just help them do what they can i.e. a mother or father would want to feel as though their role in parenting can still be fulfilled.
5. Stay in touch. If you truly love and care for them you will show them always. Talk about fun times shared together and laugh. Don’t be so fearful of saying the wrong things that you end up keeping your distance. Your presence alone will assure them you care about them. A friend or relative that is seriously ill may need you now more than ever. Words may not always take away pain, but your continued efforts to help that someone you love, will make their situation more bearable.
This recipe is easy! Perfect to add to pasta before baking it in the oven. This will make anyone feel better.
Macaroni Cheese Sauce
Enough for 4-5 servings.
450 ml whole milk.
25 g plain flour
25 g unsalted butter
1 tspn English mustard
175 g quality mature cheese
Salt and pepper
Pour the milk into a pan and whisk in the flour then add the butter over a medium heat.
Stir until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer.
Add the mustard and three quarters of the grated cheese with salt and pepper.
Add the sauce to a ovenproof dish pouring over cooked pasta. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top along with some basil leaves and sliced tomatoes and bake for 20 minutes in a pre-heated 200C oven.
Serve with a salad or some green vegetables.
A little tip: add chopped bacon rashes over the final cheese sprinkling.