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An individual who has a chronic illness is one who is ill all the time. Even if it might not appear that way, even though they are not constantly in pain or feeling poorly, their condition is always there, and this fact alone can make people feel low and even depressed. Support is crucial for their general welfare; happiness and positive thinking can lessen pain and symptoms and make it easier to cope with the condition, and support can help them to achieve this state of mind.
Here are some of the best methods to help someone you care for if they have a chronic illness, such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, or the effects of a stroke, among many other conditions.
It’s easy to lose touch with people, and it can be even easier for people with chronic illnesses. If they can’t or won’t go out, they might not see their friends very often. This can hurt their mental health, which can then hurt their physical health and make them sicker than they were before.
Just calling, texting, sending a quick email, or connecting through social media to ask if they are okay, talk about your day, give them news and information, or talk about nothing at all just to make sure they are okay and let them know you are thinking about them can be enough to help. If you do this often, you will both gain from it.
As mentioned above, you might reach out to someone you know who is dealing with a long-term illness. That’s great, and it can really help. Still, listening to them will help even more and is something you can do at the same time. They may not have anyone they can talk to, worry with, or even complain to. Let them talk and let them get out their worries and frustrations. It will help them more than keeping everything inside.
Don’t think you know what’s best for them; only they can figure that out for themselves. Listen to what they have to say, and then you can decide what to do. You can help them find a group of people who can help them if they want to, such as at mesotheliomaveterans.org. Talk to them about options if they want to look into how a different medicine might help and if they want your advice. Let them talk about how sick they feel, how much pain they are in, and what problems it is causing them. All of this is what they need, and you can help them get it.
Someone with a long-term illness may sometimes feel well enough to join in on the plans you’ve made. Occasionally, they won’t. Often, they won’t know how their condition will affect them until the day of. Here, your willingness to be flexible will really help and be another way to help someone with a serious disease.
Make sure that if you plan something with this person, it can be changed or put off if necessary. This way, the person with the illness won’t feel bad about “ruining” what you had planned to do together that day, and the two of you can do something else that you can both handle. For example, you might have thought it would be a good idea to go to the beach with a friend, but when you go to pick them up, they don’t want to go outside. In that case, you should just binge-watch a box set and order pizza. Acknowledging that things can change and that you might not be able to do the things you used to do with each other without blame or pity may be hard, but it is important.
Being flexible can make a big difference in a good relationship with someone who has a chronic illness. It’s also a good skill to have in general.
Do Your Research
When a family member or friend is told they have a long-term illness, it can be scary. They might feel very alone, and you might feel like you don’t know how to help them or are just as lost and confused as they are.
In this case, you need to learn as much as you can about the illness so you can be as helpful as possible. If you know more, you can do more to help, which will make the person feel loved and cared for.
Start by looking up the disease online, but keep in mind that the internet can have a lot of wrong information. But you will start to understand, which is a good thing. After that, it can be helpful to join forums and groups, go to meetings, or talk to a doctor to learn more. They will be glad to help you, and then you will know a lot more about how to help your family member or friend.