Illness, even a severe illness, can strike anyone at any point in life. Family members and those who care about the person may find themselves catapulted into a caregiving role without any warning. Illnesses come with varying degrees of challenges, the caregiver may experience numerous changes in their life and have to assume new responsibilities. How to deal with a situation like this?
Dr Heldt´s tip: try to be prepared. First of all and very important: the affiliated have to get information … in two different levels. One concerns the care – how can I take care for her / for him without harming her / him? What am I able to do, to take over, and what kind of things do I have to look for? Nutrition, exercise, medical care etc …
The other level is the mental – spiritual. Depending on your morale and your experience you can discuss with the sick person about the disease and what will change in every day´s life. One has to find solutions for both, to fulfil its own need, the mental and the spiritual. If this is neglected there will soon be the next group of sick – those who are totally exhausted by taking care of the beloved one.
One should prepare books for special situations – you can find a wide range of humorous English ones here. The texts must be easy and understandable, pleasant and with a good sense of humour. Even some poems or song texts. The slogan must be: laugh as you live, live as you laugh, take care of yourself to be able in case of need to take care for somebody else. Regardless if the person concerned is a family member or a friend.
If you nurse someone you have not only to take care of the ill person, but also to take care of yourself – concerning the nutrition, the daily exercise and the care of your mind and body. Unfortunately that´s nothing more but pure theory. In practice the opposite happens: the one who nurses another suddenly is in a state of exhaustion and feels as if she / he was running in a hamster´s exercise wheel. The more ideas you collect and prepare in good times, the more you are able to care in bad times for others.
Concerning this situation of life there are unfortunately no easy answers or tips to act spontaneously on advice … and within three days everyone is healthy again. Usually it takes years until all involved notice that life has dramatically changed and in a way nobody would have thought though this is nothing out of the ordinary. This happens in many families, but you cannot confer one situation to another, to your special life situation.