Helping Family Members With Chronic Conditions: What You Can Do

woman with chronic condition

When a family member has to deal with a chronic medical condition, it can be a challenge. Depending on the condition, they might face a lifetime of problems. This can be discouraging and depressing. This is where you and others from your family come in. It would be best if you gave them support and assistance in any way you can. Here are some potential suggestions on how you can help.

Learn More About Their Condition

One of the first things that you have to do is to learn more about their condition. There are several avenues for you to get this information. The simplest and easiest way to do it is by asking the doctor in charge of your loved one. They should be able to provide you with the basics and even how you can help them with their treatment and medication. But that is only the beginning; you can easily do further research on the internet and connect with support groups that can provide more information.

Knowing all this is pretty important. For example, your family member might end up having to deal with dietary restrictions. Researching about what they need to avoid can help you plan meals for them and ensure they get the nutrition they need while following their diet.

Assist Them In Their Daily Life

Chronic conditions can have varying levels of disability for your family member. You should take the time to assist them in various ways. One effective method is by providing them with ways to help themselves. This makes them feel better and that they are not that big of a burden. For example, installing support bars in various parts of the house gives them something to hold on to when they are feeling weak. Having them in the bathroom can also be an effective way to ensure that they won’t injure themselves.

The important thing to remember is that while helping them out is important; you should also give them enough space to do things by themselves. Chronic conditions don’t mean that they are completely infirm. Giving them this opportunity allows them to feel good about themselves.

assisting elderly

Give Them Something To Do

The problem with chronic conditions is that they can limit what your loved one can do. Many lifestyle changes can make your loved ones feel bad about themselves. If you want to fight these feelings of worthlessness, you need to give them something that can affirm their worth. There are several options out there. For one, you can look up study volunteer opportunities so that they can participate in medical studies. Knowing that they are contributing to curing their condition can make them feel better. Other examples to boost their self-esteem are taking up new hobbies or getting into useful activities. Idleness and staying bedridden only contributes to them feeling useless and depressed.

Work With Them On Medication And Treatments

When facing a chronic condition, one burden that your loved one has to face is medication and treatment. It is difficult enough to take a single pill every day. Your loved one might need to take more and have to get injections. This is where you can help them. Keep a schedule to remind them to take their medicine. If an injection or other similar process is necessary, be there to help make things easier.

Besides their medication, they might also need help with physical therapy and treatment. Be there for them and assist them when necessary. Showing your support can also encourage them to keep up with these treatments.

Help Them Fight The Depression And Stress

Besides the physical effects of a chronic condition, there are also mental effects. Stress and depression can be crushing when you suffer from a chronic illness. You have it hanging over you every day. This is where a supportive family member comes in. You need to show your loved one attention and care. The most important thing you can do is to be someone who listens to them and pays attention. This can go a long way towards handling depression. Besides that, you should try to cheer them up in various ways. For example, an impromptu party can brighten their day a lot. Look for ways to make them happy in the long run.

A chronic condition is a major life change. Unless a cure or a treatment is found, your family member likely will have to deal with it for years to come. Helping them out in any way is the least you can do for them as a loved one. Show your support so that they can survive the challenges that are coming their way.

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