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Caring for Loved Ones with Chronic Health Conditions

Managed Health

Watching a loved one suffer from a debilitating chronic health condition can be a painful experience. They will likely go through a wide range of emotions and physical changes during this time, and it’s admirable that you want to be there and help them through. Here are some suggestions from More Natural Healing regarding how to lend the support they need to get through this trying time.

Empathy Can Go a Long Way 

Empathy can go a long way in helping them heal. Moreover, it's about trying to understand what they are going through and giving advice when asked for it. It's about trying to relive their experience through their eyes so that you can attempt to feel the extent to which they are struggling. It's also about knowing when to step in when you can see that they require help without having to be asked to.

Help Them Meet Their Obligations 

Depending on their condition, it may be challenging to keep up with ordinary day-to-day challenges that so many of us can take for granted. This is where offering to help them keep up with their commitments may come in handy. Your help may come through in a variety of ways, from offering to take them to their doctor's appointments to helping them with their shopping or helping them maintain the cleanliness of their home. The point is that you offer and let them explain what they need.

Assist Them with Meal Planning

Our diets play a crucial role when it comes to our physical and mental health. If your loved one suffers from chronic anxiety or depression, encourage them to eat healthy meals. For example, you could create healthy meal plans with an app such as Noom to help steer them away from comfort food, which can also be dangerously unhealthy physically.

Help Them Create a Comfortable Home Environment

Apart from helping to create a home environment that is calming and supports mental and physical health, perhaps you need to look further to see what can be done for their home to make it livelier and happier. Whether they are able to work from home or not, you’ll want to ensure there is plenty of light. Natural lighting is usually recommended over artificial lighting. But if one has to go the artificial route, cool blue or white lights tend to work best here.

Another thing to consider and something you can assist with is creating more organization within a space to help remove some of the stress when items are in disarray. Here, you would most likely want to recommend a digitized storage system to compile important information in one neat location on a desktop or laptop.

If your loved one’s needs surpass what you can do for them at home, or if you both predict that things will move in that direction, help them look for in-home and nursing home care options. While it’s never fun to explore these options, exploring their choices while they’re in better health can make the transition easier as their abilities decline. 

You can also learn about and study your loved one's condition so you better understand how to help them. One possibility is to earn a nursing bachelor's degree so you can better assist your loved one. Online degree programs make it easy to earn a degree while still working full-time or tending to family obligations. As you search for an online school, verify that it's accredited and that it offers competitive tuition rates (take a look).

Encourage Self-Care

BODi notes that self-care is vital for anyone. For people with chronic health conditions, taking special care of one's health is of absolute importance. Therefore, encourage them to take time out for themselves. Beyond this, you could treat them to a spa day or give them spa quality products that they can use in the privacy of their own home. You may want to invest in a few of these products for yourself, too, as being a caregiver is also stressful. 

Visiting an acupuncture professional is also a great idea. In addition to addressing pain, acupuncture – a 3,000 year old form of​ medicine – has been shown to assist with fatigue and aging concerns. 

Also, stress the importance of getting enough sleep at night to have better clarity during the day and to help stabilize their emotions. The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get  each night.

Be the Support They Need

These are just a few helpful steps that your loved one may appreciate more than anything else, including going back to school to learn about how to care for them. Moreover, it's about putting your love into action so that your loved one can rest easy knowing that they have you to lean on when they can't keep pushing on anymore. Remember that this is a difficult time for your loved one. They may feel a range of emotions, from fear to anger and resentment. Do your best to be patient and support them however you can.

More Natural Healing enriches your day-to-day living with information, stories to inspire and natural healing products. Shop online today or contact us for more info!

Our blog post is a collaborative effort by the founders of More Natural Healing in conjunction with Editors of Renewed Health Alliance, and our board of advisors including doctors, herbalists, and experts in using natural herbs and supplements to enhance our daily lives. We only provide information that has been researched, validated, and vetted for our posts and includes validation from experts in the herbal community.  A person of interest on this post is the talented writing of 
Courtney Rosenfeld.  Courtney is a contributing writer and blogger for More Natural Healing & Renewed Health Alliance

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