Chronic conditions are hugely important things which affect not just the person suffering with them, but everyone around them as well. This can often especially be the case when someone is diagnosed with something very suddenly out of the blue, but even when it is from birth it is likely that it can affect one’s life profoundly too. If you are living with someone, or otherwise close to someone, who has a chronic condition, you probably want to know what you can do to help them. As it happens, there are many things you can do in caring for a person who has a chronic condition, and we are going to take a look at some of them now. Bear these things in mind if you want to ensure you are helping them out as well as possible.
|Source - CCO Licence|
Understand The Condition
The most important thing that you can do is to understand everything there is to understand about the condition itself first and foremost. By getting to grips with everything you can about the condition, you are going to be in a much better position when it comes to helping that person, rather than being in the dark. There are many things you can do in order to learn more about their condition, whether you look for information in trusted books and medical journals or whether you simply speak to the medical professionals. If you seek information online, be sure to take great care in ensuring that it is a reputable and trustworthy source, otherwise you might struggle to know whether the information you are getting is any good at all.
All in all, if you make a point of understanding the condition more, you are going to feel more capable of helping your loved one - and they are going to likely appreciate that you have taken the time to learn all of that information.
Be There For Them
The best thing to do in a day to day sense is just to be there for them however you might be able to. That means that you are by their side when you need them, so they know that you are there and they subsequently feel supported. That doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to put literally everything on hold, nor are they necessarily going to ask for that. But showing that you are there for them is going to mean that they feel so much more supported, and in many ways it is the most important thing that you can do for them. As long as you are there for them and generally supportive, that is absolutely going to be the best you can do.
|Source - CCO Licence|
Help Them Make Healthcare Decisions
With many chronic conditions, there are going to be a huge range of decisions which the person needs to make. Knowing that they have someone with them who can help them to make those decisions will make it a lot easier, and should mean that they are going to be more likely to make an informed and sensible decision along the way. If you are particularly close to them and they want you to help them out in the future in this way too, then they might even think about asking you to be their power of attorney for healthcare and medical decisions. This is a big responsibility to have, and you are going to have to think carefully about whether or not it is something that you want to engage in. As well as the huge decisions you will likely have to make in the future, you have to bear in mind that there are many risks of being a power of attorney, and it’s a decision that only you can really make. So be sure to take it seriously and treat it carefully, and you should find that you can do what is right.
|Source - CCO License|
It is generally best not to just assume that you know how the sufferer is feeling or what is going through their heads, and that you instead simply ask them where necessary. The more questions you ask them, the more you are going to work out what is going on for them. That will inform the help that you provide them, and it will help you to do the right thing for them at all times. You will also find that it’s a great way to show how much you care, and they are probably going to appreciate it for that reason too. Ask as many questions as you can to really get to the bottom of their experience at all times.
Taking Care Of Yourself
A big mistake that a lot of carers make is that they forget that they are also important. If you want to ensure that you are going to be able to help the person long into the future, and if you want to stay sane and happy yourself, then you need to make sure that you are caring for yourself as much as you are caring for them. If you forget to care for yourself, you can find that it quickly leads to a lot of resentment towards the person you are caring for, and that means that you are then more likely to start turning away from them, so it’s really no good for anyone to let this happen. Taking care of yourself means that you give yourself a break from time to time, that you say how you feel about what is going on, and you don’t completely give yourself up in service to the other person. If you can remember that and still show them a lot of care, you have done it right, but it is a hard balance to get right.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when you are caring for someone with a chronic condition. As long as you have thought about these things, you should find that you can do it much better.