Tell Them You Care
One of the best things you can do to show love to someone with a chronic illness is to simply tell them you love them and want to be there for them. They may or may not be ready to accept help or even comfort, but knowing that you’re there for them does make a difference.
Keep Special Diets in Mind
Keep any special diets in mind if you’re thinking of dropping off an edible gift or a meal. If you drop off a box of chocolate truffles for Valentine’s Day only to find that chocolate triggers a flare-up, your gift might cause more pain (emotional and physical) than happiness. If you’re unsure, keep in mind that it’s always better to ask if they can have something and ruin a surprise than to give them something that could cause harm.
Give Gifts of Service
Sometimes people with chronic illness have trouble doing certain tasks around their house, so this is a great way to help them out. Whether it’s mowing the lawn in hot weather, vacuuming around the house, or helping get the garden ready for planting, gifts of service can be the most helpful and meaningful sometimes.
Give Practical Gifts
If you know of a particular symptom that gives the person you love trouble, get them a gift that might help alleviate it. For instance, if they deal with being cold in the winter, get them a warm blanket or gloves. If they get overheated in the summer, a personal fan might be a thoughtful gift. Anything that can make their lives easier or more comfortable will be much appreciated.
Ask What They Need
When in doubt, ask your loved one what you can do. Don’t let them brush off your request to help. Tell them you love them and want to do something to make their life a little easier, whether it’s making a grocery store run or hanging out with them while they receive an infusion. It can be hard for people to ask for what they need, so making the request for them can be a gift in and of itself.