When your friends and family are sick or injured, it is natural to feel helpless, especially when the loved one has a chronic condition or an injury with lasting effects. It is challenging to tell whether what you say and do will help or hinder recovery and treatment.
You cannot always be there for everyone you care about, but when you can visit them, schedule a time in advance. Not only will this allow you to ensure that your friend or family member will be available, but it will also allow them the time to prepare for company or space to say no. In some cases, the cost of travel will keep you from visiting, so be sure to look for deals and discounts such as armed forces travel donations or crowdfunding.
Be Honest About Your Limits
Offering to help care for a chronically ill or severely injured loved one is incredibly selfless; still, it is crucial to be honest about your limits with yourself and others. This includes physical, mental, and emotional limits such as phobias of seeing wounds or an overly packed schedule. For example, if you only schedule an hour to help a friend get to and from a two-hour appointment, you will be late for other errands and activities.
Know When To Offer Advice
One of the best lessons you can learn is when loved ones need you to listen as they vent and when they need you to help fix something. This is especially true when it comes to any medical care, as a frustrated friend who needs to vent will only become more frustrated if you offer advice that they have already tried.
Helping a loved one with a chronic condition can mean everything from lending a shoulder to cry on to becoming a live-in caregiver. But there are some standard tips you can use to help you start right, such as scheduling visits in advance and knowing when to offer advice.