I was sick and you visited me.
—Matt 25: 36
Befriend the ill, disabled, and elderly.
Jesus’ parable of the Sheep and the Goats reminds us that Christ is uniquely encountered in acts of love for the sick. Learn names, listen attentively, play games, and cultivate friendships with those who are ill, the elderly, and disabled. If helping the sick has no intention of love, it is devoid of virtue.
Comfort those suffering from illness.
Offer to assist caregivers of chronically sick neighbors, family members, or fellow parishioners on a one-time or periodic basis. Give caregivers time off from their responsibilities so they can rest, complete personal chores, or enjoy a relaxing break. Next time you make a meal that can be easily frozen, make a double batch and give it to a family in your parish who has a sick loved one. Write letters to such persons. Pray for them and their families.
Support hospitals and other health services.
Inquire at your parish how you can get involved in care centers for the ill, elderly and disabled, such as hospitals, nursing homes and friendship community centers. If there are no opportunities ask your fellow parishioners and search online for local care services. If none exist already, establish connections between these services and your local parish. Donate, volunteer, and get your friends and family involved.
Visit patients in the hospital.
If a neighbor, family member, or parishioner is in the hospital, don’t forget to pay them a visit. Ask your priest about such patients in your parish, and ask to go with him to visit them. Bring get-well cards, and don’t forget to pray with them.
Visit the elderly.
In the modern West, the elderly are taken for granted, and even discarded by society. Take time out of your week to stop and visit with an elderly neighbor, family member or fellow parishioner.
Inquire at your parish how you can give blood. If there are no opportunities ask your fellow parishioners and search online for local blood drives and events. If none exist already, establish connections between your local parish and such organizations. Donate, volunteer, and get your friends and family involved.
Offering time and love to the elderly and the ill is essentially to providing hope and joy to those who are suffering. You can also write to your local and federal governors and politicians in support of ending euthanasia.
Help pay for the healthcare of others.
If a neighbor, family member, fellow parishioner, or stranger is sick or otherwise in need of healthcare, offer to help them cover the costs. If they refuse financial aid, assist them in other ways. Make or purchase meals for them. Help care for their household. Drive them to appointments.