Supporting your family member through an illness can be difficult, especially if they are a child or have a terminal or chronic illness. Although everyone’s needs and preferences are different, there are a few simple ways that you can find out what care they need and how best you can support them for the duration of their illness, whether long or short-term.
1. Get Legal Aid
Not every medical treatment or hospital stay runs smoothly, and sometimes there can be incidences of medical negligence that can prevent your loved one from receiving the care that they need. If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of medical negligence, for instance, if they have been given the wrong prescription, have been diagnosed incorrectly, or the care that they have received has been below working standards, then you should look into making a claim for medical negligence on their behalf.
Getting legal aid will enable them to get the support and compensation that they need if their condition has been made worse by this lack of care.
2. Listen and Provide Company
Everyone’s needs and wants will be different when suffering from an illness, so it is important that the support you provide reflects this. Listening to their worries and concerns is one of the best ways that you can provide support, helping them to get the reassurance and listening ear that they need. If this becomes too much for you to cope with, you should consider finding them a counsellor who can help them to work through their emotions.
You should also provide them with company. If you have an ill child, this can be in the form of helping to provide distractions, such as playing fun games or helping them with a puzzle. You may also want to try to attempt a semblance of normalcy by sticking to a routine or helping them to participate in family activities in any way possible.
3. Help with Practicalities
There may also be practicalities that can help your loved one for the duration of their illness, such as cooking, cleaning and taking over their daily responsibilities, such as picking the kids up from school. However, rather than deciding what to help them with, it is important that you ask them what they need help with to ensure that you are performing activities that are truly having a positive impact on their life.
4. Research Their Condition
You can also support family members who are ill by researching the condition that they have, as this can help you to understand what is wrong from their perspective and the symptoms that they may be encountering. You may also choose to attend doctor’s appointments with them to help you to get a first-hand view of the issue at hand.
5. Support Yourself Too
However, supporting someone with a medical condition can be difficult, and the only way that you can provide good support for a loved one is if you are able to get the support that you need too in order to enable you to cope well. You can get sufficient support by finding a counsellor or attending group therapy or support session for people who are having the same experience as you.