Caring and supporting loved ones whose life is dramatically changing through ill health can be a massive challenge. The person may be having extreme difficulties in coming to terms with the adjustment of needing help and the modifications to life-style. Their fears, frustrations and anger are often very taxing when we are reaching out and trying to help. Their loss of independence and ongoing struggle is painful for us to watch and whilst we will them to recover we must come to terms that it is not always going to happen. Our love for them can be heart-breaking as they push us away; often in complete denial of the situation. We must look on as they struggle and try to be strong to support them.
Don’t forget to look after yourself in order to be of help! We often have other family and work responsibilities which also require our energy. Insist (to yourself) that you need time to recover from both physical and the emotional exhaustion. Try mindfulness meditation, go for a walk, swim, watch your diet, talk to someone you can trust, pamper yourself with long soaks in the bath and get plenty of sleep. Re-charge your batteries; we must always put on our own oxygen mask first in order to be able to help others in trouble. Finally don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sending strength and respect to all our carers.