When a loved one becomes sick or injured, it doesn’t make life easy, does it? Talk about an understatement. The health of our family members and friends is more important than anything. And naturally, when someone close to us is unwell, we want to do all we can to support that person. Depending on how severe your loved one’s illness or injury is, the entire ordeal can take a lot out of you.
If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you’re not alone. Many of us have been through it and many more will, at some point, experience it for themselves. It’s no fun, of course. But your love and support can truly become the keys to the recovery of that person you cherish so deeply. Here are six ways you can show support to your family member or friend during his or her recovery period.
1. Don’t shy away from expressing your love. No matter how ill or injured your loved one is, it hasn’t changed the way you feel. Let your loved one know just how loved he or she is. Your support will truly mean a lot considering that many people who are sick or physically disabled feel guilty about what they are putting their family and friends through. It will really help your loved one to know that your love and support is unconditional.
2. Educate yourself about the illness or injury. The more you know about what your loved one is facing, the better you’ll be at understanding how to support him or her. Locate books about the condition or be sure to browse websites when you have the time to attain as much information you can about the sickness. Learn about the treatments so that you can be better aware about the fight you’re helping out with.
3. Give of your time. It’s not easy to find time in your schedule to be by one’s bedside regularly. But during tough times, it’s important to find as much of it as you can. Consider it “hang out time”. Watch movies, share stories and laughs, go through old photos – you get the picture (pun intended). Anything you can do to brighten the spirits of your loved one will be very helpful in the recovery process.
4. Become a chef. Okay, you don’t actually have to become the next Gordon Ramsay. But if you can cook up some of your loved one’s favourite meals, it will go a long way in brightening his or her spirits. Depending on the appetite your loved one may have, his or her favourite dishes will help with nourishment as well. After all, most hospital food (should a hospital stay be required) isn’t all that appetizing.
5. Don’t feel guilty. It’s not your fault. Yes, it’s completely understandable to feel bad about your loved one’s situation. But, it’s important to keep in mind that you didn’t put your loved one in his or her present situation. If you’re going to be a good support person, you can’t forget about yourself. Your loved one needs you to be at your best. This will be especially important when your loved one is understandably irritable and cranky.
6. Put together a support team. No one expects you to do this all on your own. You may be the closest person to your injured or ill loved one (a spouse, for example), but you don’t have to be alone in your mission to show love and support. Ask for the assistance of your other family members and friends to allow you a break and some time for yourself. When it comes to showing someone love and support, the more, the merrier.