How to Support a Loved One In a Flare

There are a lot of questions people ask when I tell them I’m flaring. Most of the questions are about how people can help, what they can bring over and when to come around, if at all.

Here are a few ideas on how to help a loved one in a flare

Bring over flowers. A lot of times, when an IBD patient is in a flare, they can’t consume much food. Rather than insulting (we know you mean well, but it’s hard to hear offers of food) someone by offering food they can’t eat, bring over flowers to brighten up their environment.

Purchase an iTunes gift card. This is something that can be sent electronically so that if your loved one isn’t up for visitors, it’s easy to get to them. Sometimes when we’re in the hospital or confined to a bed, our mobility is far from what we want it to be. It’s nice to have a distraction – like a new app or a new song to help get our minds off what is going on in our bodies.

Living with them? Bring them warm blankets from the dryer. Is there anything greater than cuddling up to a warm blanket when you don’t feel well? Well, maybe puppies. But in case you don’t have a supply of rescue puppies, warm up some blankets in the dryer. If you really want to go the distance, warm up a few towels for when your loved one gets out of the shower. Speaking of blankets, a great investment for someone like an IBD patient is a heating blanket or a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets can feel like a body hug and heated blankets

Ask them what types of fragrances they enjoy. Maybe there is a candle or a fragrance that makes them feel at home. Vanilla helps me calm down, as well as lavender. And keeping a freshened up home when you’re back and forth to the bathroom can be a positive for any patient.

Ask them if you can come over and clean for them. Some areas might be off limits, like the bathroom or their bedroom. But speaking from experience, it helps someone cope so much better when their environment is clean and sterile. Clean physical space helps for a clean, healthy mental space.

Don’t know which to pick? You can purchase Amazon.com gift cards online and send them right to your loved ones in an email so they can get the supplies they need from the comfort of their own home. I’ve also previously written about online grocery delivery service that might be helpful to send gift certificates as well too! I have used Shipt for a few months when I’ve been ill and unable to get out or didn’t want to be contaminated with germs during flu season.

However you decide to support your loved one with IBD, know that it will be appreciated.

We may not say yes to all these things all the time or want visitors, but please know it’s for our own mental health space and sometimes people each cope differently.

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