Elderly man in sweater with vegetable basket

How to Help When Your Loved One Has a Chronic Illness

Pacific Medical Supply provides high-quality medical equipment and superior customer service. Call 503-585-2027

Elderly man in sweater with vegetable basket

If your loved one has a chronic illness, they might need a little help from others to maintain their quality of life. Whether the disease is heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cystic fibrosis, depression, or any other chronic illness, your loved one is likely struggling with pain and many other symptoms each day.

If you have taken on the caregiver responsibility, you must learn as much as you can about your loved one’s condition and foster your health in the process. Below, we’ve provided some simple tips to help!

What You Can Do

Be Present

The single most important thing you can do for your loved one is to remain present from day to day. Make sure your loved one knows that they can talk to you about their struggles, and lend your ear and advice whenever the moment presents itself.

Also, be present to help them with everyday challenges. You might be surprised by how big a difference it can make for your loved one’s quality of life if you are available to cook them healthy meals, take them to doctor appointments, help them navigate health insurance, and handle other tasks that come up.

Do Your Homework

Fortunately, there is a lot of information on the internet about chronic illnesses. Take time to research your loved one’s condition so that you can learn how best to empathize with them and help them through challenges.

With knowledge comes power, and you might be able to find valuable information to aid your loved one in making critical decisions concerning their health, treatment, health care team, and many other factors.

Explore Treatments

Upon researching your loved one’s condition, you will likely find a variety of alternative treatments used to treat the specific situation. For example, many people who suffer from a chronic illness can benefit from horticultural therapy.

Essentially, this type of therapy involves intervention through the use of garden environments. It can be as simple as spending time walking through a garden or going as far as planting and maintaining a garden. Along with helping your loved one rehabilitate, it can provide them with opportunities to socialize and maybe even spark a passion for nature!

Along with horticultural therapy, chronic illness patients use many other alternative treatment methods every day, including:

Research your options and have a conversation with your loved one to figure out which type of treatment could help with everyday challenges.

Take Care of Yourself and Live Healthier

Lastly, make sure you take care of yourself as a caregiver. Otherwise, you can quickly burn out, which will do no good for your loved one’s quality of life. Eat a nutritious diet each day, and exercise regularly. If you’re too busy to join a gym, squeeze in some fitness by walking more often and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Try to get at least seven hours of restful sleep per night, and find de-stressing activities that can help you step away from your obligations, if even for a brief moment. Maintaining your health and allowing yourself to recharge will boost your overall well-being and enable you to be the best caregiver you can be.

No matter what chronic illness your loved one is suffering from, there are practical ways you can help them maintain their quality of life. Remember to be present for your loved one, learn as much as you can about their condition, and look into the various alternative treatments that could help your loved one navigate daily obstacles. Finally, foster your health and well-being along the way!