Illness can be difficult to live with. You may have a friend or family member who is living with illness and you want to help them, but don’t know how. In this post we will go over some tips that you can easily do to help someone who is dealing with illness feel more comfortable in their everyday lives. These tips were compiled by our wonderful volunteers who have many, many hours of experience caregiving and supporting our clients.
- Learn about their illness. One of the first things you can do is to learn about the particular person’s illness. Go to the library and take out books about the illness, or talk to the person’s physician or even with one of our volunteers who may know a lot already about the illness. The more you know about their illness, the better you can react and be a better caregiver. This will also allow you to accommodate the person better and help them feel more comfortable. You will be able to provide effective, appropriate support.
- Retrofit your home. Many illnesses can make a person unable to carry out their life the way they once were able to. Since the house is where one spends the most time, it’s important that this remains a safe, comfortable place for the person dealing with illness. The best thing you can do is to learn how to improve your home to provide the comforts the person will need without changing too much so as to make the person uncomfortable. Remember, change is difficult. As an example, for someone who needs more attention to mobility and experiences muscle weakness or joint problems, it might be a good idea to install various handles around the home – especially in slippery places like the bathroom. One of our volunteers mentioned that a client’s family completely renovated their bathroom to include a modern bidet such as the one in this Toto Washlet S350e review for their family member dealing with chronic hemorrhoids. It’s definitely not one of the best cheap bidet seats but a good product and the right renovations can make a world of difference for someone dealing with chronic illness. The types of renovations you undertake depend on the kind of illness the person holds, so if you need to speak with someone about making the home more accessible we encourage you to talk to one of our staff or volunteers for ideas.
- Create a support network. Caregiving can be difficult, frustrating work. That’s why we encourage you to create a strong support network where you can share your worries, anxieties, and frustrations with someone else. If you need help with this, Warm Hearts staff and volunteers are always on hand to help. Make caregiving a team affair and you’ll have a much easier time with it.
- Beware of depression. Understanding your limits as a caregiver not only helps you but also the person you are trying to help. Let Warm Hearts volunteers and staff know if you think you’re depressed or heading in that direction. Sometimes all you need is a little break and a chat.
- Plan ahead. The best way you can help someone better deal with their illness is to plan ahead. Don’t let troubles creep up on you. Planning ahead allows you to remove the stress and overwhleming emotions that come with serious illnesses. This includes speaking with doctors and physicians in the most honest way possible, as well as proactively asking what can be done at every moment. Don’t let the illness take control of your life, instead be the one who’s in control.
Warm Hearts staff and volunteers are always around to help. Need to chat with us? We encourage you to contact us directly. We hope these tips will help you and your loved ones.