Around fifteen million Brits live with long-term conditions like hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc. If you aren’t affected by a lifelong illness, you may feel beside yourself if one of your friends or family members is diagnosed with one – but you don’t have to feel this way.
According to research, one of the best ways for patients to manage life with a chronic or lifelong illness is by surrounding themselves with a support group that sticks with them through the highs and the lows. But if you’ve never interacted with someone with one, you might be unsure where to start. Fortunately, our article below outlines several of the best ways to help you become a pillar of support throughout your loved one’s journey.
Educate Yourself About Their Condition
From Cystic Fibrosis and cancer to arthritis and osteoporosis, your loved one could have been diagnosed with hundreds of lifelong illnesses. And while some are common knowledge, others are not as well-known and might require a little reading up on their symptoms, causes, treatment, etc., so you can understand what your loved one is going through.
Therefore, the more informed you are about their lifelong illness, the better equipped you’ll be to offer support. To achieve this, it’s best to direct your questions towards a health professional like a nurse or doctor.
If you’re still unsatisfied, you could consider directing your queries towards the web and using trusted medical sources like Source BioScience to get your desired answers. As well as being one of the largest international providers of state-of-the-art laboratory services, Source BioScience is full of the latest medical information that can help you get an insight into some of the most common lifelong illnesses. Consider visiting their site for more information, and discover how their resources could help you support your loved one better today.
Ask Them If They Require Any Assistance
Although your friend might be reluctant to ask for your help, it is essential that you are as proactive as possible when offering support to them. This could be something as simple as making a reservation at a restaurant that is fully accessible rather than just assuming it will be and showing up, or a practical favour like picking up their child from an after-school club one day a week.
Although it might not feel like you’re doing much, you’re helping them in one of the best ways possible by taking the minor tasks off their hands and allowing them to dedicate their time to more pressing matters. However, ensure you’re not doing it constantly; otherwise, you might offend or invalidate what they can do independently.
Be Flexible When Making Plans
As with most chronic conditions, one day, your loved one might feel like they can take on the whole world, and then the next, they might feel awful. Due to this, it is essential to remember this when making plans as it makes you a better pillar of support.
They’re not cancelling plans to be flaky or because they don’t want to spend time with you, it’s because their condition is more challenging to ignore than usual. Instead of holding it against them, you can suggest alternative activities or reschedule for another day, making you a better friend to them.
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