When friends and family hear the news - they will almost immediately want to help. This is great, of course, because we all need help. But it's often difficult to figure out what help we need - and for the helper, how best to help. Without any guidance though, your family and friends may choose something on their own and their version of 'help' might not be what you want or need.
For example - many people send flowers or plants. This is lovely, but plants need to be planted, watered, trimmed and maintained - otherwise they turn into a vase of dried, decaying and smelly twigs. What most people don't realize is that, when you're busy caring for your loved one, you definitely don't want/need more things to do - and plant maintenance (for me) was one of those things I didn't want to do.
Other friends might make and send food. This is GREAT if you're not handy in the kitchen or if you have other family members who require meal preparation. If so, add it to your request list. In our house, though, food is a tough thing to request because my wife is sensitive to gluten and I'm allergic to dairy. Any food items arriving at our house were quickly eliminated.
Thankfully, there is a very easy/quick way to manage this and it comes down to communication. Here's what you do: