Many people who are caring for their loved one and juggling their own lives may have their own chronic conditions which may go unnoticed to family and friends. Because you’re trying to keep strong for a loved one, it may make it hard for others around you to see that you need support yourself.
Here are 10 steps to help you cope with a chronic illness
- Make sure you get plenty of information! - You can never have enough information about chronic illnesses, ask your doctor direct and get trusted web sites with medical information from them.
- Don’t leave it all to your doctor – Take note of any potentially harmful changes in your body before they become trouble
- Have people around you – Your GP may not have the answers, look for specialists and other sources such as dieticians
- Organise your care – Specialists may not talk to each other often, so communicate your care through your GP
- Lifestyle changes – Make changes to improve your health for example; stop smoking, exercise more, or change eating habits to manage your chronic condition much better
- Get your family involved – Everyone making the same lifestyle changes will ensure you stick to it!
- Manage your medication – You may have multiple prescriptions so keeping organised and tracking medication will ensure medication is taken on time!
- Depression signs! – Know the signs of depression; it is believed depression is more common in those with chronic diseases. Don’t dismiss depression, it is a serious illness!
- Share your thoughts – Look for support groups going through similar circumstances to talk about what you’re feeling.
- Plan for the worst – A chronic condition can have serious consequences, prepare a plan ‘just in case’ to avert a potential crisis
It is vital to gain an understanding of your current situation, stress can worsen chronic conditions so gauge your stress level and make alterations if need be!
And most importantly get help if you need it! Ask friends or family when you’re struggling; there are also professional Care Services such as ourselves who can provide respite care to give you that much needed break.