Helping a Family Member Throughout Illness


Illness can strike anyone. It can strike this writer, it can strike you, it can strike members of your family — it can strike anyone. And, if somebody in your family is in fact stricken with a illness, then it’s your job to help them throughout it. For advice on how to do just that, read on.

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Accept that roles will change, and help them to do so

When somebody in your family is stricken with a serious illness, especially someone in your family who lives in the same household as you, roles within the family dynamic change. Certain family members will have to do things that they don’t usually do in order to keep life running smoothly for all, and certain family members will have to accommodate the need to help the ill family member in certain ways. And, if you truly want to help your family member that is ill, then you need to not only accept the change in roles that is to occur but you have to ensure these changes take place without fuss.

Always accept outside help

If you want to help your family member in the best way possible, then you must accept that outside help has to be sought. You have to accept this because, quite simply, it will help your family member’s situation no end. If this is just help that is offered by outside friends or neighbours in regards to doing the shopping, then accept it. If this is professional help from trained doctors and nurses in the field of the illness your family member is fighting, then accept it. Or, if this is palliative care for cancer, for instance, that might not necessarily deal with relieving the condition but will ease pain for your battling family member, then accept it. Simply, you must accept as much positive help as you can.

Learn about the illness

By learning about the illness that has struck your family member you will benefit both them and yourself tenfold. You will help yourself because you will equip yourself with the knowledge and skills needed to really help your family member battle their illness, and to make them as comfortable and healthy as possible as they do so. And, you will help your family member because they will no longer feel alone in regards to the illness itself and will always feel comfortable talking to you about it.

Encourage your family member to retain responsibility

When battling with a serious illness, it can be easy to shut down. It can be easy to give up on all the things you once knew or did and to wallow in self pity. Yes, this is easy and natural to do, so nobody can ever be lambasted for doing so. But, if you really want to help your family member than your should encourage them retain their own individuality and the responsibility they have always known in their adult life. You need to do this because this will help them to feel normal, and that is vital at this very tough time.

There are always going to be things that you will be able to do to help your loved ones fight life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, you just have to be willing to put in the work to do so.

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