Learn about conventional, complementary, and integrative therapies.
Dealing with treatment side effects? Learn about evidence-based therapies to alleviate your symptoms.
Click the orange button to the right to learn more.
Caregiving or assisting someone who is chronically ill can be a draining experience. Regardless of that, there are a lot of people in this world who decide that this is their calling in life
Unfortunately, the world we live in is not a happy place at all times. Many people all over the world get diagnosed with all kinds of cruel diseases that leave them feeling hopeless and with no clue of where to go or what to do. There are so many ways of helping a friend or a family member who suffers from a chronic disease.
Before even starting to take any initiative it is important to remember that every individual’s experience with any disease is different. It is vital not to make assumptions about how someone is feeling or their thoughts. Every person’s experience is unique, so it is good to try and do as much research as possible to be able to give the best caregiving experience.
Caregiving or assisting someone who is chronically ill can be a draining experience. Regardless of that, there are a lot of people in this world who decide that this is their calling in life. There are a lot of feelings and emotions that one might feel while helping other individuals in need. It is important to remember that you are just as important.
Learn More About The Diagnosis
Finding out that a close friend or relative is suffering from any chronic disease can be hard to take. Before actually volunteering to help them it is good to take some time for ourselves and think about our emotions and feelings. Once you feel ready to concentrate on your friend, you might proceed to the helping process. Moreover, it is good to remember that for obvious reasons your friend might not want to open up or keep repeating the same medical information over and over. Try finding out that information from someone else and write it down somewhere. Make sure you remember the correct information and don’t push for more unknown facts. During the whole process of assisting someone who’s chronically ill, it is good to stay positive and keep both yours and their spirits up.
Be a Good Listener
No matter what kind of illness your friend is going through, once you decide to be close to them at all times, it is vital to be a good listener. You should let them know that you’re always going to be there and support them all along the way. Most of the time being able to listen is much more important than trying to express your opinions or giving advice that might hurt. At the same time, if you’re willing to do something for them it is good to be specific about your help. Your friend is going to be grateful if you offer unsolicited help. A sick person will never tell you that they need a certain favor. However, they will certainly appreciate you looking after their pets, running errands while they are in the hospital or picking up their kids from school. If you offer to do something for them and they don’t appear to appreciate it, you should not take it personally. At certain moments our friends might just want to be left alone, something that a healthy person might enjoy as well now and then.
Ask for Professional Help
Asking for professional help while assisting a chronically ill friend is a natural thing to do. Fortunately, people can find a variety of specialist organizations whose main aims are fighting with certain diseases and supporting people who suffer. As a caregiver, it is important to know when to take the initiative, because as already mentioned before, a person who suffers from an illness may never ask for any favors. You should consider the benefits of professionals in this case. On the other hand, both you and your friend could find out a lot more information about that certain illness and even connect with people who are going through the same situations. Mesothelioma help is an organization whose main purpose is to help families and close ones find answers related to their questions, get direct support and discover treatment options.
Keeping a positive attitude during the whole process is a vital thing when assisting someone who is suffering from a chronic disease. Sharing your positive thoughts and beliefs can benefit a lot to a person who is in this situation. A number of studies show the importance of a close friend in the healing process. Although it might not be a simple thing to do at all times, it is good to keep positive as much as possible. There can be certain situations when you can’t be physically close to an ill friend. In this case, you can express your positive thoughts and visions in various ways.
Many people might not even realize that our ill friends might also want to help us or make us feel appreciated. It is important to remember that no matter how bad a certain disease can be, caregivers and friends should not forget that whoever they are looking after are the same as they were before their diagnosis. The only difference is that now they happen to suffer from a chronic disease.
It’s worth bearing in mind that supporting a chronically ill patient is a challenging but truly rewarding experience. If you want to be close to your friends while they are going through tough times all you need to do is show them that you are always there for them. Moreover, you could always encourage them and support their journey, especially during grueling treatments and after they have finished. Regardless of how much you want to help your friend or family member, you should never focus your friendship on that illness. Ultimately, you are just someone who is trying to help a loved one through a tough time. It’s important that you don’t make whoever you are looking after ever feel that they are receiving help from you only because you are their friend. Make sure you listen or even respect silence when it’s needed or asked. In caring for someone, it’s important to remember that compassion and respect are key aspects.