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Please Remember the 'Forgotten Ones' Who Are Sick at Home

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We are the forgotten ones. The ones who are housebound. The ones who need help just to sit up. The ones society doesn’t see. We are the ones trapped in our houses and behind closed doors. We are the ones articles don’t talk about but neighbors whisper about. We come in all ages, all types of illness, but we have one thing in common: we aren’t getting better. The “incurables.” The forgotten ones.

We may have very few people in our lives because it’s exhausting. The type of exhaustion that comes with running a marathon, after doing a triathlon. We can barely speak at times. We are weak. Not Hollywood-movie-weak, but the kind of weak where writing our name on a piece of paper means needing a long rest. Our muscles hurt. Our bones ache. Our bodies feel like they failed us. We spend what little energy we have on surviving.

Sometimes we can keep busy with little projects on good days, like knitting, reading, drawing. We can binge-watch TV shows online and people-watch out the window. Still, it can get depressing, tedious, and worst of all, lonely.

If you would like to reach out to us, there are programs. In my little town, there is a program where people will visit and read or crochet or just talk. They match people with their interests. That visit once a week can do wonders for our mental health. Some of us only see others when it’s a personal support worker, a nurse, or a delivery person from Meals on Wheels. These little programs that are designed to give us a friend are lifesavers.

If you don’t have a program in your area, make one. Contact your local health center or community center and find out how you can help. Pay it forward. You won’t be disappointed. We have great stories to tell and wonderful lives to share!

You only give up time, we may feel like we have nothing left but time. Please remember us.

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Thinkstock photo by Katarzyna Bialasiewcz

Originally published: February 23, 2017
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