Friends often say "Call me if you need anything!".
Well, it could mean a few things, like needing a shoulder to cry on, a sympathetic ear. Or just plain supportive courtesy. But if you have an intention to physically help out, listed here are a few specific things friends and folks can consider offering, for folks in dire situations.
With everything that was transpiring, household chores were all put on hold. Without a benefit of a maid, floors remained uncleaned and dishes lasted an entire day until they were washed at the end of the vigil every night from whomever went home instead of staying over at the hospital, accompanying dad.
One aspect that needs attention, is the family laundry. An offering of washing and drying might be one of the more practical tasks to help.
Our family washing machine had actually gone kaput a couple of days before dad was admitted to the hospital. And in the midst of dad being in the ward for the first week, we had to go buy a washing machine, and as well arrange for someone to be at home when it was delivered.
With the possibility of my mobile phone being cut off, I had to make a detour one day to the AXS machine to pay my phone bill. As I was one of the main caregivers listed for dad (alongside my sister), every phone call might possibly be important.
And just over the weekend I had gone to queue up pay for the HDB bill.
Utility bills and other household essentials might need time tending to, and an offer of help might be appreciated. Work out the moneys needed, if that makes you more comfortable, in lieu of paying for it yourselves first.
Same can be said for household groceries, for food or even topping up of toilet paper. Although the likelihood of "cooking" at dire times might be a stretch, other household amenities need to be considered.
Either they are bought for, or physical help is offered to help wheel a trolley back with a family member, or even a weekend car ride back from the grocers.
Is one of the key requirements, but this is volatile as "timing" is constantly flexible. The only person that drives in the Heng Family, is my brother, who lives physically away from us (dad, mum, sis and me). And while he might send us home at nights, he is also not our private chauffeur, able to bring us about at any time of the day.
So far, we have been cabbing it. Imagine each trip to SGH would be around SGD$17 to SGD$28+ - depending on time of day (ERPs etc), so to and fro could be around SGD$50+ per trip. Now imagine that daily, x 3 persons.
But understandably, an offer of transport is not a truly feasible option to offer, but perhaps a day when multiple things are happening, like paying bills, going grocery shopping etc.
Nevertheless, we thank everyone for their offer of "help", in whatever form they take :)