Today on Caregivers, a bit about the importance of support in One Caregiver’s Circle of Support.

We all know it can be very hard to ask for help; in fact, it’s even difficult to accept help when it is readily offered.

Through this experience, I’ve learned that if you are waffling about whether or not to reach out to someone going through a rough time, it certainly can’t hurt to do so. I know that many times I’ve been guilty of thinking about it, and then saying to myself, “Oh, I don’t want to intrude.” Or, “I’m sure they have all the help they need; I don’t want to be a bother.”

Going forward, I’ll think twice before making those assumptions.

In those final weeks, even when someone offered to bring food or called to see if we needed anything, my inclination was to respond with, “No, we’re fine. We really appreciate your offer, though.” But there were those people who did it anyway. It was the people who just went ahead and brought food or sent something or just went ahead and came by to sit with me, be it for a few minutes or a couple of hours; they were often the life savers. I am still absolutely blown away by some of the things that people did for us.

Unless it’s a situation where you know the person is very private and truly doesn’t want visitors, just drop off a plate of cookies or a big bowl of sliced fruit – or something that will keep for a later meal. Don’t stay long unless you sense that they’d like the company. If you feel awkward about a visit consider having something delivered; sending an encouraging card and including a restaurant or coffee shop gift card is another nice option.

Whatever you choose to do, it is sure to be appreciated. Just never think that you aren’t important to that person. Chances are, any and all acts of kindness will be welcomed during a difficult time. Never underestimate the power of a thoughtful gesture. I know that in my case, it was such a comfort just being aware that people were thinking about us and keeping us in their prayers.