If a doctor has diagnosed your loved one with a terminal illness, it’s understandable that you want to help him or her retain the greatest quality of life possible as each phase of the illness progresses. Are you a caregiver for one of many people in North Carolina or South Carolina who have contracted mesothelioma? This disease is the effect of exposure to asbestos. Helping your family cope with a loved one’s terminal illness diagnosis is a daunting experience, but support is available.
Every person responds to a terminal diagnosis in a unique way. In addition to providing loving care and encouragement to the patient, you can also help the rest of your family come to terms with the current circumstances. Keeping several things in mind as you help your loved one prepare for what lies ahead will enable everyone to make the best of the time you have left together.
Process emotions while accepting reality
When you’re sure that the diagnosis your loved one has received is correct, there’s no way to change it. Learning that there’s no cure for mesothelioma — and that your loved one has contracted the disease — may evoke multiple emotions, including shock, anger, fear, worry and sorrow. You can help your family cope by encouraging each member to talk about their feelings and allow themselves time and space to process their emotions.
Some people would rather be quiet than talk about how they feel, and that’s okay. Every person (including the patient) will have a different coping style.
Remember that every family member has needs
A person suffering from mesothelioma benefits from the loving care that family members provide. It’s important to remember, however, that every member of the family will have needs during this uncertain and often turbulent time. Each of you will need time to rest and can encourage one another to take practical steps to stay in good health, like staying hydrated, eating healthy foods and trying to get some rest whenever possible.
Build a strong support network on the outside
As you do your best to provide care and comfort to your loved one with a terminal illness, there are times when you may need added support from outside resources. Such support might include North Carolina or South Carolina medical professionals, faith ministers, counselors or legal advocates. The latter is especially relevant in situations where mesothelioma was the result of employer negligence. Tapping into all available resources can help your family come to terms with a mesothelioma diagnosis and provide end-of-life care for your loved one.