WISDOM

05/25/2014

My neighbor is ill and I want to help, but I just do not know what to do. If only they would just tell me how to help them! What should I do when I don’t know what to do?

This was my question last winter when Debbie, a neighbor, was ill. I solved the problem by sending her a “Multiple Choice Caregiving Email.”

In the email I wrote: Debbie, I am so sorry to hear that you are ill! I would really like to do something for you. Today and tomorrow, I have extra time. May I do any or all of the following for you? (Check your choices.):

_____ do some errands today or tomorrow

_____ get you some wonderful orange juice or grapefruit or orange ice cream

_____ pick up some videos for you

_____ grocery shop

_____ bring you and Jim soup and/or salad from Panera Bread – (indicate your choice of soup and salad)

_____ a blueberry smoothie

_____ homemade chocolate chip cookies or ice cream (what flavor?)

_____ or whatever sounds good to you

Surely, you can find something in this list which sounds good?

Caring, Karen

Within minutes, Debbie emailed me with her response and what she would like. She said, “Karen, what a list! You are so sweet with all your suggestions and so many good ones! What I would like is for you to share some of your favorite books–ones that have impacted your life.”

Immediately I delivered three of my favorite books and some clementines to Debbie.

Multiple Choice Caregiving answers that reoccurring question, “What can I do to help someone who is suffering?” Try it!