5 Ways To Show Care From Afar

It can be challenging when someone you love is ill, has experienced a loss, or is otherwise in a difficult situation if you can’t be with them. Maybe you can’t make the trip or perhaps the person is contagious and can’t have visitors.

For whatever reason, you’re left feeling a bit helpless, wondering how you can show you care. Fortunately, there are several ways to show up for someone without being physically present.

5 Ways Show Care Afar


1. Send A Care Package

The age-old symbol of care is the care package. A care package consists of a box, bag, or basket filled with goodies that relate directly to the reason for distress.

If the person is ill, you might send soup, crackers, tissues, pain relievers, cozy socks, and books and magazines to read. If the person has lost someone, you might send flowers, a card, and a sweet treat.

Whatever the occasion, a care package is a wonderful, loving way to show you put thought into the gift for the recipient. You could package the items yourself, find a nice box or basket in which to place them, and ship it off or deliver it.

Or, you could go through a service that offers get well soon gifts or items that represent your mourning. The arrival of this package can be just the uplifting moment your loved one needs.

2. Provide Food

Another tried-and-true care offering when you can’t be present is to offer food. Once upon a time, it was a casserole. Someone had a baby — send a casserole. Someone died — send a casserole. Someone’s sick — send a casserole.

OK, maybe that last one was more often soup, but you get the idea. Giving food is a way of showing you care because no matter what is happening, people have to eat.

Today, many people are too busy, or too modern, to make a casserole. But your food offering doesn’t have to be a one-pot baking dish. It can be a pizza, a gift card for Uber Eats or DoorDash, or a delivery from their favorite restaurant.

You could even go so far as to organize a meal train that invites everyone your loved one knows to contribute food. This way, while they’re healing, they won’t have to worry about food.

3. Pick Up The Phone

It sounds much easier than it is. Many people have difficulty picking up the phone to talk to someone these days. To be honest, it’s always been hard for some people to have tough conversations. It can feel awkward, insufficient, and insincere.

You don’t know what to say, and you’re worried whatever you do say will be taken the wrong way. But if you can’t be physically present, you can pick up the phone.

Honestly, the hardest part of making a call is dialing the number. Once the other person picks up, you can go from there. Start with the reason you’re calling and move into how much you wish you could be there.

Allow for the possibility that the person you’re calling doesn’t know what to say either. Sometimes, it’s enough just to call and spend a minute or two checking in. Let the person know they’re not alone.

4. Bond Over Books, Shows, Or Films

One of the best ways to recover from myriad illnesses, recent childbirth, or a loss is to zone out in front of the television or read a book. Thank goodness for great stories.

Often, when you’re having a hard time, there is nothing worse than being alone with your thoughts. You want a distraction, something to take your mind off of your experience, even if you still find your mind drifting.

You can show someone you care by bonding over a shared love of books, movies, shows, or all three. If your loved one is an avid reader, send them your favorite books or sign them up for a book of the month club.

If you both love movies or television, agree to binge-watch the same films or series. You can even jump on the phone and discuss plotlines, shocks, and disappointments while you watch.

5. Check In With Family And Friends Nearby

Finally, if you’re quite far away and simply cannot be in the vicinity of your loved one during a difficult time, make sure to check in with friends, family, and neighbors who live close by.

While your loved one might not be able to articulate what they’re going through, those closest to them geographically can often report back with some level of accuracy. This approach can give you a better sense of how they’re doing.

You can also ask local friends and family to check in with your loved one more frequently. Take the time to call and discuss how you and those close to your loved one can provide the best support. And offer to help them in any way you can.

This help could be money for a meal train, a housecleaning service to support them while they support your loved one, or even just a commitment to answer the phone.

Many ways exist to show how much you care about someone even if you can’t be physically present. It is in precisely these situations that it really is the thought that counts. You can only work with what you’ve got, and do what you can.

And the level of care you’re able to provide may change over time as your situation changes. The important thing is that you want to be there for your loved one, so you will be.

5 Ways Show Care Afar


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