Caring for a loved one who is seriously or chronically ill can be a tough challenge for even the strongest people amongst us, but it is possible to do so and come out the other side with your own health intact.
If you are currently caring for a sick loved one, here are some things that may help you to get it right:
Learning as much as you can about your loved one’s illness is the first thing you should do when you are tasked with helping to care for them. Knowledge is power, and the more you know about what they are facing, and what you will need to do to support them the easier it will be to get your head in the game.
Gather relevant contact information
It’s really useful to have all of the relevant contact information for the doctors, nurses, and other casters who will also be taking an active role in looking after your loved one during this difficult time., By having all of this information quickly to hand, you can get help and advice really quickly, which means you will panic less, and hopefully, your loved one will suffer less too.
Don’t do it all alone
It might feel like it’s your responsibility to look after your loved one’s health single-handedly, but if they are seriously unwell or suffering from a chronic illness that is only going to get worse, this is a really bad idea. Chances are you will burn out really fast and be unable to support them in the way they need. Having other friends and family members, as well as carers and other health professionals, take some of the load is really sensible.
Have fun together
Caring for a sick loved one can be a lot of hard work and it can be easy to let feelings of resentment creep in. One thing that can help to stop this from happening is making sure that you have fun. Yes, you may need to cook and clean for your loved ones, as well as take care of their various health needs, but you can also spend time reading a book you enjoy together, going for a nice walk if they are able, or having a fun movie night. Just because someone is sick does not mean they can’t still enjoy life, and you would all do well to remember that.
Take a break
It’s important that you look after yourself if want to be able to look after your loved one effectively, So, at least once a day, take some time out for yourself. Have a hot bath, meditate, go for a walk, or do whatever you need to do to feel more relaxed and more like your normal self. It will make all the difference, and ensure that you can keep looking after your loved one for as long as necessary.
Find a support group
Some carers find it very helpful to get together with other caregivers who are in a similar position. They feel better being able to talk to people who understand what they are going through and who can offer their own tips and coping mechanisms. If this sounds like something you could benefit from, chances are there is a support group near you, and if not, you are sure to find what you are looking for online.
Recognize when they need more
On a related note, it is really important that you’re able to recognize when your help alone is not enough, Unfortunately, many illnesses progress to the point where long-term professional care is needed, and when that happens, you need to be prepared to let it happen. You also need to know where to turn to whether that’s ALTCS or a private residence home somewhere your relatives will love. Letting go and letting them get the help they need is not abandoning them – it is doing what is right for them, and anyway, you can still visit them and help out with their caste whenever you like.
Caring for a sick loved one can be distressing, stressful and a lot of hard work, but it can also be very rewarding and if you approach it in the right way, it is something you will be able to not only get through but also have no regrets about doing. The people in your life matter so do what you can for them, but do so without letting it harm your own health in the process.