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When a loved one suddenly falls sick, our first reaction is that of disbelief. Then comes denial.Caring Michelangelo's_Pieta Superior powers get questioned as to why they thought it fit to bestow the loved one with such a challenge. Gradually, acceptance dawns and one moulds the activities of one’s life around the new core of reality. The health challenge could be either an accident or a serious ailment or even a lifestyle disease which behaves like an unbidden guest who refuses to go away.

How does one manage a change of this nature? Well, here are seven habits which can be cultivated to transform a wide-eyed and bewildered soul into an effective Caregiver.

Communicating as per the Psychology of the Patient

There are patients who prefer to show off their illnesses to any and all who express concern. They would prefer to wear their ailments on their sleeves, much like a Chopard watch. Then there are those who would consider an illness a strictly private affair, not to be discussed even within their close circle of friends. Based on the category under which one’s loved one falls, a Caregiver would tailor his/her communication to those around accordingly.

When it comes to communicating with a patient, there could be occasions on which the Caregiver can choose to be a hypocrite. Even if the Caregiver harbors a seething anger and a burning anxiety within his/her bosom, it helps to maintain the sang froid, so to say. A calm exterior and a cheerful disposition on the Caregiver’s part radiates a youthful energy all around, thereby lessening the level of anxiety and the fear of the unknown felt by the loved one.

Expecting the Unexpected

Lifestyle diseases are silent killers. These tend to accelerate the ageing process. Since all organs of the body are interconnected, complications involving other vital organs of the body could start popping up at unexpected times. It surely helps to have a prognosis and a crisis handling plan in place so as to minimize the subsequent setbacks, if any.

Cultivating a Circle of Doctors

The leisurely days of having a single family doctor are no longer with us. Considering the prognosis of the disease, it helps to have a circle of three kinds of medical experts. A specialist who addresses the core sickness, a generalist who can advise on side effects of drugs and can take care of peripheral issues as and when these come up and a group of friendly doctors which can be counted upon to provide a second opinion and whose help can be invaluable in case of an emergency.     

Being Prepared for a Long Haul

Lifestyle diseases creep in on one rather quietly. Once these settle down in the body, it is notPatient Medicines easy to wish these away. Yes, a sustained effort supported by exercise, meditation, medication and a positive mindset do help to keep these under check. One therefore needs to be prepared for a long haul, needing a strong will power and perseverance, especially on the Caregiver’s part.

Mind over Matter

It is critical to ensure that the patient remains relaxed and happy. Thus, it is important to create a stress-free environment with as much fun and frolic thrown in as possible. Knowing what makes the person happy and arranging the same is of crucial importance. A Caregiver needs to be prepared to make sacrifices to give up his/her own beliefs and individual fancies to ensure that the patient remains in a positive frame of mind.

Advising Wisely

The worst thing a Caregiver can do is to compare the condition of the patient with that of another afflicted with the same disease. Each individual is uniquely configured. Even though the broad principle of a treatment may be the same, there could be many variations based on the individual condition and temperament of the patient.

Advice should be given only when it is sought. Unsolicited inputs end up confusing and demoralizing the patient. Heresy dressed up as wise counsel often comes in from those who come calling on the patient. A Caregiver’s role is that of a filter which ensures that the patient receives a feedback which is balanced and objective.

Taking Care of Oneself

A Caregiver cannot afford the luxury of being sick himself/herself! The primary responsibility Caring Michelangelo_pietà_rondaniniis to take care of oneself, so the support provided to the patient does not get diluted.

Such habits, if inculcated by the Caregiver consciously, can help the patient to recover faster and better.

Overall, an important issue is that of the will and faith of the patient. If the patient believes that all will be well, good health is quite likely to follow. Faith in the doctor, as also in the medicine being taken, can work wonders. The Caregiver’s primary task is to create and sustain this belief in a realistic manner.

Those of you who face a similar challenge in life may like to comment and add a few more habits which they find useful. 

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