When you fall ill, it can feel as if your world is crumbling around you. When you know how much of a struggle it can be, it can do a world of good when a family member falls ill, as you know how to empathize with their pain. They may be missing school or work; they could even be bed-bound, and they will be needing the help of their family more than ever. Knowing exactly what to do is impossible, but there are some small ways you can help them in their recovery. Taking note of their progress or setbacks is important when their illness could lead to a bigger problem. These tips are also useful for if someone you know has encountered a mental health issue, like depression.
Research their illness
If your family member has a diagnosis of their problem, you will probably be able to refer to the information they learned from the doctor. However, that doesn’t mean you know all you need to know on the subject. When you have a free moment, research their illness on trusted medical websites, so you can gain a better insight into what they are struggling with. This way, you can also find advice on how you can help them cope with specific illnesses, including tips from carers who have had more experience in a certain area.
Provide them with support
Researching an illness will only get you so far, you also need to know how your family member is feeling during this time. Giving them emotional support is as important as making sure they take their medication, or ensuring they are getting all the fluids they need. Being ill can result in feelings of stress, anxiety, or hopelessness, and sometimes, giving them a hand to hold or a warm shoulder to cry on could be all they need. It could even be that you give them a welcome distraction if they can’t make it outside.
Learn when to get help
Illnesses can come in the form of nasty colds to terminal diseases, but it is likely that if it has progressed, you will need to have some medical assistance on board. You may be doing all you can, but you still have a life to lead, and some things you can’t do on your own. Sometimes, you may need to accept that your family member’s illness has gotten worse and that they may need to go to the hospital. You still want to ensure they receive the best care possible, so it’s wise to read through real-life hospital reviews before you choose.
Facilitate a calm environment for rest
With any illness, the body and mind can become exhausted from fighting whatever is in your system. This often means that the person you are taking care of may be more irritable than usual, or they may be unable to sleep properly with the medication they are on. If you keep their sleeping space clean and comfortable, you will be able to help them get the rest they need to carry on fighting their illness.