Having a sick loved one or family member is hard enough. Feeling helpless can make it worse. But if you love someone facing a serious or even terminal illness, there may be more you can do for them than you think. From supporting them in getting the medications and the practical resources they need, to helping manage pain and get through hard days, there are many ways you can take care of your sick loved one. If someone you love is sick and you aren't sure how to help, read on.
It's hard to have any level of quality of life if you're in pain and don't have the medical equipment, supplies, or a set-up to help manage your illness and symptoms. The first step in helping a loved one is making sure they have the resources they need. From a hospital bed with foam cushioning and an adjustable bed frame to helping with medical bills and medications, one way to help your loved one is to set them up with a good space to recover in. Many health insurance policies will even cover hospital-grade adjustable beds for patients on hospice or at home.
One way to spend time with a sick loved one and make things easier is to bring their care and bed to the first floor of your home. Maybe someone you love has a cancer diagnosis and needs nurses to come in to give them treatments. Moving the bed to the first floor of the house with their favorite pillows will make the logistics of this easier. At the same time, you can keep a better eye on them and keep them company too.
The same goes for prescriptions and over the counter medications. One way to help a sick person is to pick up their medicine and help them with basic things like bathing and food. You can show a loved one you care by bringing food to them and even sharing a meal by the side of the bed. While you're there, ask them about their favorite position for eating and sleeping in, and be sure to help them adjust that bed too.
Security and Peace of Mind
Knowing you'll be okay is more important than you might realize. Many people facing serious or terminal illness are afraid to die not because they're afraid of death but because of the friends and family members that they will leave behind. For this reason, one way to support a sick person is to assure them you'll be okay after they pass away.
As difficult as it may be, you'll want to talk to your loved one about your financial plan, how you'll take care of the kids, and any arrangements they hope for after their death. While conversations about American Life Fund viatical options, for example, can be hard, they will leave your loved one feeling more secure that you'll be able to manage when they're gone.
If you are in the financial position as a life insurance beneficiary where you won't require a death benefit, another way to support a loved one is to approach them with the idea of a viatical settlement. This could mean a lump sum payment for them while they're still alive and could even be used to make those bucket lists trips if they're well enough for travel.
Love and Compassion
In the end, the best thing you can do to support someone who's sick is to be there. Keeping them company and spending time making as many memories as you can is important. Tell them you love them and that you'll remember them. Or, if there's hope they'll recover, be there by their side to cheer them on. Attend appointments with them, ask questions they forget to ask, and become their best advocate. All are ways you can show your love for a sick person.
While caring for a sick loved one is difficult, making the most of your time together will help. Be sure to take time for yourself too and ask for help from friends and family, even financial assistance, as you can. Don't be afraid to have those difficult conversations as, odds are, your loved one needs them too.