When a friend, family member, or partner is diagnosed with an ongoing illness like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or Crohn’s disease, they need your support. In between doctor’s appointments, they may feel stressed and experience symptoms that affect their mood. Luckily, there are ways to let them know you care while accommodating their needs.
How to Support Someone With a Chronic Disease
1. Educate Yourself
Learn about the condition affecting your loved one. It gives you an idea of what to expect from their symptoms and treatment schedule. You may also discover a new therapy or holistic treatment to discuss with them in the future.
2. Help Around the House
Offer to assist the person with errands, such as grocery shopping, home maintenance, and pet grooming. Whether you vacuum and dust, do yard work, or chop vegetables for dinner, your loved one will appreciate the time and effort you put in. Helping out also gives them more time to relax, which is important when they experience symptom flareups.
3. Plan Fun Activities
Come up with engaging activities that allow you to spend quality time together. Simply talking over the phone during a favorite show can bring them comfort when you live apart. If they have more energy, plan game nights, short outings to local parks, and trips to the mall or movie theater.
4. Remember to Listen
Show your support by checking in regularly. Be there to listen to their concerns, complaints, and anxieties. Venting helps lift mental and emotional burdens, giving your loved one the chance to recognize their feelings, learn from them, and move on.
5. Give Them Space
While your help is valuable, there are times when your loved one may prefer to be alone. They may be tired, feel unwell, or simply want to focus on self-care, such as by taking a relaxing bath, finishing a puzzle, or reading. Don’t take requests for alone time personally, as they are normal and healthy.
Another way to help your loved one with a chronic illness is by getting them reliable transportation to doctor’s appointments. Agape Transportation allows residents of New York City and Westchester County, NY, to arrive at their doctor’s appointments comfortably and on time. They offer 24/7 customer support. Call (718) 585-2222 to schedule transportation, or learn more about this service online.