Helping a Loved One Suffering From a Chronic Condition

If you’re a friend or caregiver to a patient with a chronic condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, or if your loved one suffered a stroke that led to a long-term disability, you may be wondering how you can help to improve their lives. Even though some chronic conditions like arthritis and diabetes are incurable, there are some ways you can help relieve both pain and stress associated with these diseases. Here, we’ve listed some tips for you to consider:

Look for Suitable Accommodations

If your loved one is in a wheelchair or has limited mobility due to his or her chronic condition, it may be time to look for an accessible home where they’ll be able to live independently and still stay safe. Look for an ADA-friendly house with minimal or no stairs, an open floor plan, large entryways, and knee space under kitchen and bathroom countertops. Adding smart technology to their new home such as voice-controlled devices and smart window shades will help people with mobility issues. When it’s time to move, help your loved one find a reputable moving company by using Angi to search for ‘short distance moving companies near me’ and reading reviews from previous clients. Make sure the moving company does an in-person evaluation to come up with an estimate of the costs, and always request a written quote.

Encourage Them to Stay Healthy

Offer to cook healthy meals for your loved one to help with chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes: favor unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, and stay away from fatty meats and sugar-laden foods. Take them to fitness classes specially tailored to their needs and abilities. If your loved one is home-bound and unable to make it to the gym or fitness center, look for virtual classes on the internet: practice yoga, do some cardio, or take dance lessons in your own living room. Keeping your loved one active is the best way to keep them healthy and to prevent or alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. Offer to drive them to their doctors’ appointments and be supportive while listening to their concerns. Educate yourself on their condition by joining support groups and organizations so you can become a better ally and understand what they’re going through daily.

Listen to Them

For people living with a chronic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, or depression, it may be difficult to predict what each day will bring. Avoid being overly positive by telling them things will get better or peppering them with unwanted tips and suggestions gleaned from the internet that really have no actual benefit and are sometimes even detrimental. Instead, focus on being there for them and being an attentive listener. If they seem fatigued, in pain, or overwhelmed, don’t wait for them to ask for your help before offering to do their laundry, grocery shopping, or anything else they may need assistance with. Many chronic conditions flare up when the person is stressed out, so try taking stressful tasks off their plates when at all possible. Help them stay organized so they don’t forget to take their medications or go to their doctors’ appointments, and always be mindful of giving them some space when they need to rest and recharge.

If you want to help your loved one suffering from a chronic condition live a more enjoyable life, become an ally by educating yourself. Learn to listen to their needs and look for ways to make their condition more manageable. And don’t forget to take care of yourself as well so you can always be there for them.

At, we offer a variety of health and fitness services to improve your lifestyle, so give us a call toll-free at 1-877-492-1957 to start your free trial.

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