Five Ways of Supporting A Friend Diagnosed With A Terminal Illness
More than 70% of American patients diagnosed with a terminal illness are depressed, anxious, or nervous.
Your friend may be going through similar emotions. They may pull away from their family, seek isolation or go into denial while coping with their illness.
Diseases like Cancer, Parkinson’s, and even HIV will progressively deteriorate your companion’s condition making it harder for them to face each day.
The fear of the unknown can give anyone cold sweats. However, support, comfort, and empathy can make the journey easier.
Lending a compassionate hand to your friend during the most challenging period of their life will give them a sense of safety and security. You don’t have to cure your friend’s condition to make them feel loved. Small gestures of kindness like holding their hand, talking to them, or taking care of their needs, will lift their spirits.
Therefore, to take care of your friend to the best of your abilities, here’s what you need to do:
1. Get Lawyers Involved
Cancers like mesothelioma are rare and hard to detect right away. There is a high chance your friend may learn about their illness after the tumor has spread immensely.
This is because the asbestos fibers take time to accumulate before symptoms start appearing.
The root cause of over 90% of mesothelioma cases is neglectful companies that mishandled asbestos-containing products.
Therefore, since this illness has more to do with deliberate exposure, you should get reliable mesothelioma attorneys involved to help your friend seek justice and financial compensation asap.
Mesothelioma is an expensive disease, and it will burn through your close one’s savings, leaving them with crumbs.
By getting the law involved, you can help your friend receive a payout of up to a million dollars (or more) to help with cancer treatment. With one less worry, they will be able to access better treatment options to help ease the pain.
2. Help Your Friend Through Denial
Denial is a slippery slope. Your loved one may be facing severe denial about their illness. Your friend may start rejecting treatment and downplay the intensity of their disease, which can cause further aggravation.
A soft and calm approach of listening more and talking less can help you connect with them. However, you can’t solve the problem by being pushy or aggressive. This will only make your friend angry and resent you.
Pay attention to how your friend feels and why they think their illness is not severe. Don’t contradict their statements, instead gently explain what it means to have a terminal illness.
Sometimes the resistance comes from a place of fear. Your friend may be worried about the money, their family, or may not have sufficient knowledge about their illness.
In all these cases, with the help of your companion’s primary care doctor, console your friend. You should start a crowdfund to help your friend pay for their expenses.
There are also online resources that will facilitate your close ones’ knowledge. These can include videos, pamphlets, and articles on the disease.
Your proactiveness may make it easier for your friend to comprehend their illness and choose to seek treatment.
In some instances, you may connect them to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. The therapist will help your friend understand their situation, make peace with their grief and help them cope with sudden changes in their health.
3. Know When to Pull Back
There will be times when your friend will not want to entertain your company. Terminal illnesses require high dosage treatments like chemotherapy.
These drugs can make your companion feel vulnerable and very sick. The medicine may cause them to throw up or have an accident in bed.
Your presence may make your dear one feel uncomfortable and embarrassed even if it’s not your intention, therefore let them draw boundaries.
It is also not your place to feel offended or hurt by your friend’s aloofness. Unless your companion asks explicitly for you, don’t force your presence on them.
You should also mind the way you talk around your friend. Sometimes your jokes will not be appreciated, and your comments may be offensive, so make sure you deal with this with grace.
4. Be A Source of Healthy Distraction
Conversations on treatment options, wheeling in and out of chemo, and dealing with recovery will make your friend feel emotionally drained.
Therefore, you can remedy the situation by talking about old and pleasant memories, which are a massive change of pace than what your friend deals with every day.
You should speak about joyful moments you’ve shared with your friend, including the first time you met. If you have photo albums, be sure to bring them.
Sometimes conversations alone aren’t enough so that you can turn to the television or Netflix. If your friends like sports, catch the game with them and discuss each player’s performance. You may also read to your friend and listen to music instead of having conversations alone.
5. Stay In Touch with Your Friend’s Family
Your friend may have a partner, children, or elderly parents who may lean on you for support too. You should check on them from time to time and make sure your companion’s loved ones are faring well.
Ask your friend’s partner how you may help them with chores dealing with house affairs. You should also consider having meals with them to maintain a healthy and happy atmosphere.
If your friend has older children, you can use social media to stay in contact and update them on their parent’s condition.
Visitation will help your friend’s family feel cared for and may see you as an anchor during troubled times.
It also eases off the burden from your friend’s family, and your assistance may help them deal with stress better.
Your companion’s family may need you to help them carry out your friend’s will, so be sure to step up and offer your support.
Going through a terminal illness is challenging. Your friend may be experiencing various emotions, which also includes feeling defeated.
Therefore, the kindness and warmth you offer will mean the world to them during this time. You can lend your support by connecting them to relevant legal professionals to help deal with their financial affairs.
You can also extend your compassion to their family as they also try to cope with the thought of losing a loved one.
Your friend doesn’t always have to be polite to you. However, be sure to give your friends space and let them erect boundaries where necessary. Entertainment is not limited to conversations but also includes watching the tv.
The techniques mentioned above will help. As long as you’re a source of comfort to your friend, you’re doing your job right.
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