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Family First: Coping With a Loved One’s Serious Illness

If a loved one has recently been diagnosed with a grave illness, it does not matter if you are their primary caregiver or not. Your love and support can be a great blessing during these hard times. Whether they were diagnosed with cancer, dementia, COPD, or a chronic illness, you can help improve their quality of life.

By learning how to properly cope with you loved one’s condition, you can provide them the support they need to hel them weather the storm. Here’s how.

First, know their options

Take the time to discover what options your loved one has; this will make it easier to provide them with the support and care they need. For instance, palliative care services near your Indiana home or hospital may be of value if treatment is still an option. This service will not only help ease your family member’s symptoms while they are receiving curative treatment, it will also go a long way towards relieving their distress. Such services can also enhance their overall quality of life, as well as benefit the rest of the family.

Learn to accept their condition

Your loved one is suffering enough as it is, so don’t make it harder for them, emotionally. Instead of rebelling against and being in denial of their condition, find positive ways to help them go through this difficult time in their life. Accept the situation and find joy in helping them cope.

Recognize the fact that you may need help

helping a friend

If you are your loved one’s main caregiver, it can be hard to keep up with their changing and ever-growing needs. Since you also have a life aside from being their caregiver, know that there is no shame in asking for assistance from friends, other family members, or even the pros. This is especially true if you can no longer keep up with the needs of the patient. To keep your sanity and avoid caregiver stress, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Make time to keep yourself happy and healthy

If you can’t keep yourself happy and healthy, then it will be hard for you to be there physically, mentally, and emotionally for your loved one. You may want to devote most of your time caring for your ill family member, but know that you, too, have your own needs. So, make time to take good care of yourself through a healthy lifestyle.

Learn to select people with whom to share the news

Not everyone will be more than willing to disclose their condition, so be careful with whom you share the news of the illness. Always consult your loved one as they, more than anyone, deserve to have a say as to who wish to inform about their illness. Also, it is best to only select people who can give them positive energy and a strong sense of support. This way, you can avoid those who will only add stress to your loved one.

Patients find great comfort in the support of their family members.  Be willing to help, but also do what you must to take care of yourself. That way, you can more effectively be there for your loved one in their greatest time of need.

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