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How to Help a Family Member Who Is Struggling with Chronic Disease

If your family member struggles with a chronic illness, you are not alone. According to data published by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), nearly eight in ten senior citizens are currently dealing with some type of chronic disease or chronic health condition. We all want to make sure our most vulnerable loved ones are in the best position to have the highest quality of life. Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to help make things easier for your family member who is struggling with a chronic illness. In some cases, free EEOICPA and RECA home health care services may even be available. Here, we highlight five tips for caregivers seeking to assist their family member with a chronic disease.

1. Always Listen and Keep an Open Mind

The simple act of listening with an open mind is one of the best things you can do to support your loved one and improve their overall quality of life. Not only will your loved one be able to communicate and share — even if not always directly — their true needs, but listening to them will show their importance to you and their value to the world.

2. Do Your Research — Learn About the Condition

To help a loved one with their chronic illness, it is useful to have a basic understanding of their medical condition and their medical needs. Of course, you do not need to make yourself an expert. Even a relatively small amount of background knowledge can prove to be extremely helpful when it is put into practice in a real-world situation.

3. Be Sure to Check-in Frequently

Chronic diseases and medical conditions must be dealt with on a day-to-day basis. It is crucial that you and your family frequently check in on the status of your loved one. Their medical needs can change quickly, and you need to be sure that they are getting the proper care and attention.  

4. Focus on Providing Support — Not Trying to Fix Everything

You will not be able to solve a chronic medical issue. Do not put that mental burden on yourself. You cannot fix every problem; no one can. Your goal should be focused on trying to provide love, emotional support, and real practical solutions to the day-to-day challenges associated with their condition. Showing up is a big part of the battle.

5. Explore the Available Options for Home Healthcare Services

Helping a family member who is struggling with a serious chronic disease is a noble task. It can also be deeply challenging. Simply put, you may not have the time, energy, resources, or professional knowledge to provide the best environment for your loved one on your own. The good news is that you are not alone in this — there are home healthcare services available.

At United Energy Workers Healthcare and Four Corners Health Care, our compassionate staff offers free home healthcare to DOL EEOICPA beneficiaries and RECA beneficiaries. We assist the elderly and vulnerable people who are suffering from chronic illnesses and chronic diseases. To find out more about what we can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact our EEOICPA/RECA specialists today.