5 Strategies For Family Support During Illness
In the media and online, there is seemingly an avalanche of support for people who live with illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and dementia. This is, of course, a brilliant thing, but it often overlooks a very essential part of these people’s lives – their families.
Families offer the most support to those who are experiencing these conditions, and, as such, family members will also need long-term support.
So, what are the best strategies for family members of someone who is unwell with a chronic condition? Read on to find out.
Learn As Much as You Can
One of the best ways you can support yourself and your loved one during any long-term illness is to learn as much as you can about it. For example, if you got involved with your loved one’s care when they were showing early symptoms of lung cancer, and they now have a diagnosis, learning as much as you can about this illness will help to ease anxieties and will help you to be able to give more targeted support.
If your loved one has an illness like cancer, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s, then you will need to support yourself, as all of these conditions are extremely challenging in their own ways.
You can seek support via social media, as most platforms will have support groups for family members, but if you prefer to attend groups, search online for the support group nearest to you. This will help you share experiences with others who are going through something similar, and it will also help you share your feelings in a supportive environment.
When you can, aim to attend appointments with your relatives; this will help keep you up to speed on how they are managing, as well as letting them know that you care about them.
You can also use this opportunity to ask the doctor and nurses questions and discuss a care plan that will be effective and helpful to your loved one’s recovery. If you need help with supporting your loved one, the medical professionals at these appointments will be able to point you in the right direction.
Look into Legal Areas
It is not something that anyone wants to think about, but if your family member has a chronic illness that they are not going to recover from, it is best to look into legal matters before they pass away.
This will ensure that your loved one is able to make decisions about their care and will also help you and other family members to make sure that their wishes are met. You will also usually be offered counseling at this stage, which can be vital for making important decisions about your loved one’s future.
When a loved one is ill with a chronic ailment, it is important that they get the support that they need to manage daily life. This can look like you are popping in to see them and sit with them, or it can look like you are picking up their shopping once a week. It is crucial to help out where you can, as this will help you keep an eye on them and make sure that their needs are met. If you are struggling to offer them the support that they need, talk to their doctor or nurse for advice.