A chronic health condition can impact the family in a significant way. Parents with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases, have to deal with anxiety and frustration. They worry about the future of their kids and feel frustrated for not being able to provide their children with the best care possible. This is especially true for chronic conditions in which diagnosis can be overlooked. Now that the threat of coronavirus is pervasive, many doctors are wary of diagnosing their patients, particularly with heart attacks. According to Tinker law firm, it causes doctors to delay their diagnosis.
We will take a look at some of the effects that chronic illnesses can have on a family below:
Chronic diseases are long-term conditions that require long-term care, and these cause families to suffer from financial stress. Most families require two incomes to live comfortably so if only one of the parents is able to work, necessary adjustments must be made.
If one of the children requires constant care from parents because he or she has a chronic condition, other children may feel an emotional detachment from their parents. Why? When parents become consumed with caring for their child who needs special care, they can forget that they have other kids that also need their attention, love, and affection. In some cases, these children feel resentment toward their sick sibling, and this can create more problems for the family.
Caring for a family member with a chronic disease can be exhausting. Imagine spending so much of your day caring for someone that you no longer have time for yourself. Chronic illnesses can cause caregiver exhaustion. When this happens, it can cause strain in the family dynamics. The caregiver may feel anger and guilt, while the patient may feel shame and frustration.
How to Get Through It
While it is pretty challenging, families can thrive by being open with each other. Once they accept the fact that their loved one is suffering from a long-term disease that needs their constant care, it’s easier to resolve any strains in the relationship. The key here is to maintain open communication.
Parents can talk to their kids about why they can’t afford to buy them the most expensive toys. The patient, if possible, can work from home or come up with other money-making projects, so they contribute to the family and medical expenses.
Children can talk to their parents if they feel like they are taken for granted. They have to feel empowered to open up to their parents. Parents, on the other hand, can come up with a schedule to ensure that they are spending quality time with each child.
You can reduce caregiver exhaustion by asking for help from other family members. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you’re going to take the day off to take care of yourself. Self-care is necessary if you want to provide the best care for your loved one. You have to stay healthy so if you need to take a breather to do that you should take one. No one will judge you if you go to a spa or to the beach to help you unwind and relax.
If a chronic illness is causing immense challenges for your family, never hesitate to ask for help, especially when you feel like it is too challenging to address internally. There are tons of support options available. You can work with psychologists, physicians, social workers, family therapists, and parenting organizations to help you get through the challenges of caring for a family member with a chronic illness.