Advice for Caring For an Elderly or Ill Loved One

If you are someone who is caring for a loved one, especially a loved one who is older or has a serious illness, then you need to be aware that there is some help out there for you. When you are caring for a loved one who is ill, then it can be rewarding, demonstrating unconditional love, but there is no getting away from the fact that it can be challenging, as well as exhausting. 

You might not know the right things to be doing, or know that there are some resources there to help you. One of the things to consider is if you need to find skilled medical malpractice attorneys if your loved ones condition has been made worse by medical malpractice. If this is the case, there could be rewards that could be such a relief to the family and relieve a burden. There are so many other things to consider, though, including having a  proper caregiving plan. Here are some things to think about.

  • Learn all that you can about their condition or illness. When you know as much as you can about the disease, then it can make it easier to anticipate their needs and what would help them to feel better. Don’t bury your head in the sand to avoid the topic; it might be tough to read about but understanding will make such a difference to you. 
  • Study up on the latest ways that are used for pain relief for the condition, if any. When you know how best to help them feel comfortable, then it can be a big load off your mind.
  • Be there at medical appointments and take notes where necessary. It can be overwhelming and you don’t want to forget any of the important details. 
  • Think about the kind of relationship that you have with your loved one. You will be spending more time together than ever, and you don’t want your general relationship to be strained. Think of things that you can do together, in order to pass the time and spend your days, depending on their condition, of course.
  • Talk through to your loved one about their experience and what their wishes are. Even though they may be recommended a particular treatment by a doctor, they may not want to do that, for whatever reason. Listen to them and understand their point of view. 
  • If you have a job, then it is important to speak to your employer about the new circumstances that you are facing. They may be able to offer you more flexible working hours, reduce hours, or even temporary leave

 

Caring for yourself

By caring for someone else, it can be stressful and mean that you no longer have much time to yourself. In order to be able to care for them well, then you need to consider your own health and well-being, both physically and mentally. The better you are at looking after yourself, then the better you will be at caring for someone else. Here are some points to consider.

  • Get some help if and when it is needed. If friends or other family members offer to help, then make sure that you say yes. It is also important to be specific about what you will need their help with and be specific about what they can do to help. You might have a particular job to do or errand to run, or just want a helping hand around the house for a couple of hours. You might want to exercise, see a movie, or simply go for a walk alone out of the house. Ask for help, and make sure that you accept help when it is offered.
  • ​​Getting support from other caregivers is important too. You are going through an experience that not everyone is going to understand, so seeking support from like-minded people can really help. There are websites that you can contact, as well as social media groups that you can join, to chat and get some helpful information and resources. If the loved one you are caring for is a child, then this can be invaluable information and support, as the experience is unlike any other. You could also benefit from counseling, which is another aspect to consider. 

Just know that you are not alone in this. Many people care for loved ones who are elderly or unwell, and there are resources out there to help. Think about what you could benefit most from, and then you can go from there. 

 

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