InKind support pages offer assistance to those wanting to know how to be most helpful to a loved one. Here, we consider how to set up an InKind page for someone coping with addiction – and, by extension, with support for their families. Treatment is hard – and there is no greater gift to a recipient than that of a compassionate family and community. (Families may also need a kind listening ear – the patience required to support someone in treatment may be difficult for loved ones to sustain without the opportunity to show frustration.)
Begin by emphasizing the courage it takes to face addiction. Steer away from unconscious value judgments having to do with weakness or fault. Instead, the overarching message should validate the strength that facing addiction necessarily requires. If the person in question has relapsed, let them know that you understand that is something that happens. A relapse may be discouraging, but it is not a failure. In general, see what the family needs – and respond accordingly. Is the person in need of help a minor, or an adult? Create safe places for dialogue. If the person is seeking out-patient help, consider what assistance they may need. If the person needs to be hospitalized for a time, build that into a calendar (see a sample Give InKind Support Page for someone coping with addiction).
People seeking treatment are likely frightened. Their family members may also be frightened. It is often the case that when someone decides that they are ready to consider treatment, moving to put together support quickly is important. The age and family make-up of the person seeking treatment is a good way to understand what specific products or services are necessary. Use the Care Calendar to add as many actionable items that are needed to help provide care in any configuration.
- Food: Meals and groceries are always the first items to be claimed. If prepared meals are not an option, think about setting up a Gift Card Train that includes options for takeout. Depending upon whether there are older children at home, the flexibility afforded by gift cards is invaluable. Always be mindful of any food allergies, preferences, or aversions.
- Childcare: (If applicable) Are their children at home? Make sure to offer to help ferry them to their various commitments. This is helpful as it creates invaluable time and headspace for partners or parents to focus on the person in need of help.
- Adult/Senior Care: If the person seeking help is a member of the “Sandwich Generation" and has aging parents, build them into the calendar. Make sure they have rides to the doctor and can get to and from religious services. Creating some psychic space in oft-complicated family dynamics (generational attitudes towards hereditary addiction, etc.) can be useful. At a minimum, it is one less thing.
- Pet Care: (If applicable) Are there pets to care for? It may be helpful to make temporary arrangements for necessary dog walks, feedings, or pet-sitting.
- Home Services: From maintenance appointments to helping with chores around the house, use this category for any home services that they may feel like too much. In particular, consider laundry services, house cleaning, etc.
- Transportation: Is transportation an issue? If a family has no car it is hard to reach treatment centers. If one car must be shared this creates logistical challenges. Can someone provide a ride? Or, can someone purchase an Uber card?
- Other: “Other" is the ultimate catch-all category. This is a great way to create opportunities for a supportive connection. “Other" can be used for miscellaneous general support such as having people spend time with the recipient during hard times in the day (late afternoon), having people see whether the best support group has been identified (there are many good alternatives), and in gently asking whether they have been making use of resources. It is helpful to be sure not to condescend or infantilize the person with the courage to make this huge life change.
People will have different financial circumstances. Fees associated with treatment may have accrued. You can ask whether cash donations might be useful. If there is such a need, simply enable the fundraising button on your Give InKind page and connect your PayPal and/or GoFundMe account.
The Give InKind Wishlist is another opportunity for others to meaningfully support a person in recovery. Browse Give InKind’s curated list for suggested items that could help in their unique situation. In addition to take-out, you can include other more non-traditional gift cards as well. When you see an item that could be helpful, use the “+" icon to add to their Wishlist.
You may also add an existing Amazon Wishlist to your InKind page.
Use Give InKind’s do-not-disturb section to let others know about the recipient’s communication preferences. Keep in mind that these preferences can be easily turned on or off as a situation changes.
- Phone Calls: What is the best way for others to reach out with messages of support and encouragement? A phone call or a text? (If they are hospitalized they might not have access to their phones.)
- Visitors: Does the recipient want visitors? If so, when?
- Flowers: Is the recipient open to receiving flowers? Some people love them. Go ahead and ask. (For this situation, though, they may not be the best choice.)
Add unlimited updates to keep friends and family informed. This is a great place for a designated page manager to keep family and friends up to date or for the recipient to “blog" or “journal" their experience.
People facing addiction need loving support. Their families need it too. Try to create an environment without judgment. Addiction is a lonely place. Being able to make mistakes and show vulnerability is a huge gift for a person in recovery. Create your InKind Support Page here.
If you have any further questions, visit Give InKind’s Help Center or view our helpful articles about how to support people in recovery.
Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.