Homebound Tips Throughout the Year

by Church Health Reader Editors

The holiday season can be the most uplifting and challenging time of the year for all of us. This is particularly the case for people who are homebound or otherwise unable to attend church, visit their friends or see their families.

When it comes to ministering to the homebound, our intentions are wonderful. The holiday season is certainly an important time to remember those whom we may have forgotten. However, here are some ways you can remember, honor and minister to the homebound throughout the year:

 Flowers

If you have flowers at your Sunday service, take some of them to a homebound person after services have ended. Include a bulletin. This gives a tangible connection to the service.

 Communion

Most homebound people do not receive communion. Select someone or a group of people to take communion to homebound persons once a month. Many Episcopal and Catholic congregations have a designated lay eucharistic minister.

 Secret Pals

Start a Secret Pals group for homebound people. Each person in your church would be paired with a member who is homebound. Church members can send gifts, letters, or just visit with them each month.

 Christmas visits

Gather a group together and sing carols and hymns. Bring along a basket of fruit or some holiday treats (healthy, of course). Decorate the home for Christmas—but don’t forget to take down the decorations in January. Remember the homebound on other holidays, too.

 Meals

Organize church members to cook together. Deliver meals to homebound people from your congregation or in your community. Freeze any extras for other occasions when people may need food. Many communities have a “Meals on Wheels” program. Make sure all of your members who are homebound have adequate meals each day.

 Help with the chores

Many homebound people are unable to care for basic necessities in the home. When you go to visit, be sure to take some light bulbs, toilet paper, paper towels and all-purpose cleaner to help keep things clean and functional in their homes. Get together a group of handy people who can make structural repairs, and make sure that people have functional ramps, handle bars or other equipment to help keep them safe in their homes.

 Cards

Send them cards at unexpected times. Have children and artistic adults make the cards. For those who are not artistic, they can be “pen-pals.”

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