Tuesday, October 1, 2013

7 Things to Do When You Discover a Relative is Ill and Might Need Your Help

So you find out that you have a relative who is often mental or physically ill and you are concerned that you might be the one who will have to care for him or her, what to do?

One.  Meet with relatives about your concern.

Sometimes you will find that others will be willing to help if they are brought into the loop.  Enlist all the help you can.  Talk with family friends who might be willing to visit and care for the ill family member in your absence.  Explain to your own family what is going on with your relative, so that they will understand you won't be available at times.

Two.  Go with ill relative to doctor's appointments for a time to learn more about illness.

If you don't know why your relative is breathing a certain way, has something growing in a place that it shouldn't, or seems to often suffer with something, then you won't know how to watch out for trouble.  Ask questions at the doctor's office such as:  What to do when...how many should she take...what should I look out for...if this happens, what should I do...?

Three.  Offer to assist relative and schedule a time when you will visit either daily, weekly or monthly.

Don't overextend yourself.  Find out when is the best time to assist relative and discuss with your family.

Four.  Research programs that will assist your relative if he or she is still able-bodied/independent.

Find out what non-profit groups will send nurses and others to help you care for ill family member.

Five.  Avoid committing yourself to help your relative when you know you have no desire to assist.

Some individuals have a breaking point where they just can't deal with the stress of caring for an adult, share your concern with others and call doctor's office to find out about alternatives.

Six.  Check out side effects of all medicines relative is taking.

The doctor will tell you about some side effects, but if you perform your own research you can find out if there are any pending lawsuits related to certain medicines.

Seven.  Arrange for an emergency care monitoring system through medical program and/or set up security cameras around the home depending on the illness (especially if it is one affecting the mind.)

If you feel uncomfortable leaving your relative alone, even though he or she appears to be taking care of his or herself, consider getting a device the relative could press if he or she should have an accident.  Also, use cameras to spot any questionable activity especially if the relative is an habitual liar.

Once you have made necessary phone calls, met with others, performed errands, and assisted relative with activities, remember to take time for yourself.  It can be very stressful watching and caring for a relative who can't do for his or herself.

Nicholl McGuire Author and Poet of When Mothers Cry http://whenmotherscry.blogspot.com

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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