Tuesday 5 November 2013

Want to Help a Loved One Who is Sick? Buy This Book!

When our son Nicholas was small, he was in the hospital nearly all the time. He had surgery after surgery, all trying to stave off the effects of his severe cerebral palsy. Our family and friends watched in helpless worry and a bit of horror. One day, my mother in law said, "Now, if there's anything I can do...but I'm sure there's nothing I can do." It was as if she was simultaneously running towards us and away from us.  Luckily, inspiration struck and I blurted out, "perhaps you could make us a banana bread?" She was elated! "Of course I could do that, I would LOVE to do that!"

Sometimes, we need a guidebook for kindness when life veers off in frightening, uncharted directions. "101 Awesome Things You Can Do For Someone Who's Sick" by Elaine Wilkes, PhD is just that guidebook. Like most of us, my mother in law wanted to help us, but she didn't know how. I was so immersed in changing surgical dressings and worry that I had to search for knowing what others might do to be helpful. This is a book about creative kindness, told in short anecdotes by many caregivers across the nation. It offers easy to read recipes for help that is helpful. It will be a constant source of inspired acts of kindness for friends and families everywhere.

There are plenty of links for caregiver resources in this book, but I might suggest to the author that if there is a second printing, she consider adding Tyze Personal Networks as the cadillac of online care coordination tools. Read about Tyze HERE.

What did I learn from this book? I'm an old hand at making food for people I love who are in the hospital, but I never thought of bringing a care package to the waiting room. I have made a playlist for a teen who is ill, but I never thought of creating their own personal radio station (I've already got ideas on making one for Nick the next time he's in hospital)! There are so many tips and resources for kindness in this book, I couldn't possibly list them here. Just buy this book - I did.

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