How do we deal with a loved one’s deteriorating health?
“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”
–Franklin D. Roosevelt
Life is never smooth sailing. Our journey will mostly be filled with gigantic waves and violent tempests. Sometimes, these succeed in breaking us. Most of the time, they don’t, for we rise up to the challenges and learn how to sail through life.
However, what if it was not us going through a major life point? What if it was a loved one whose health is deteriorating? How do we cope with that?
- Welcome emotions. Upon seeing a loved one’s health deteriorate, there would be an array of emotions involved. There may be sadness (because there’s still a whole future that he or she might never get to live now) or anger (Out of all the people in the world, why him or her?) Not only that, there might also be that nagging feeling of looking for someone to blame. Allow these emotions. However, do not linger in this state as it stunts growth and subsequent moving-on process.
- Realize that this is a turning point. Acknowledge the change to come and use this to keep pushing forward. This is the best time to support the suffering loved one through all that they are going through in any way possible.
- Acquire definite answers. Sometimes, details of what exactly is going on tend to be overlooked as a lot of things are happening all at once during this point. However, getting the right answers allows the creation of a more concrete course of action.
- Learn to ask for help. No one is alone in this fight. Understand that asking for help does not indicate weakness; rather, it allows those who are around to know exactly what is needed or wanted. There are times when people become unresponsive because they don’t really know how they could be of help. Family and friends would be more than willing to extend a helping hand if they have an idea of how.
- Hope. Once a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness, fear starts to grow. However, exhaust all means to be able to get the best treatment. If not, make him or her comfortable.
Seeing someone’s failing health, especially a loved one’s, is never easy. However, this is just one of the many turning points in life. Keep hoping for the best.
Lisabeth Saunders Medlock, PhD, “7 Things You Need to Know to Deal with Major Life Changes,” HuffPost (blog), HuffPost, October 22, 2013, accessed May 17, 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisabeth-saunders-medlock-phd/seven-things-you-need-to-_b_4129918.html.
Shah, Punam. “5 Ways to Cope Up When A Loved One Is Ill.” mindbodygreen. April 17, 2014. Accessed May 17, 2017. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12804/5-ways-to-cope-when-a-loved-one-is-ill.html.