Advice for friends and family

Don’t exclude the couple because of a physical barrier like if that person was in a wheelchair and they can’t get in your home. Perhaps you could spend time in the yard. They could possibly get in your yard for the evening instead of inside the home if there’s steps involved, washroom problems, that type of thing. Let them say no. Offer it. Let them say no. Let them decide if they want to attempt this.

And if it’s not possible for the ill person, don’t discount the well spouse. “We’re having this get together with so and so and so and so. If your husband isn’t able to come, would you like to come?” Let that person decide if they want to join in. A lot of people aren’t comfortable going solo, but some people are, and don’t make that decision for them. Invite them. Let them decide and let them say yes, or let them say no. Don’t exclude them. Invite them out to a movie or whatever without the spouse. Give them some time to have some social life separated from the ill spouse as well. I think you need that interaction as well. I find it’s very hard to get an ill spouse out to go for coffee with someone else. Whereas a well spouse would probably love the idea of getting invited out to do something away from the home.

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