Whether it’s addiction, mental illness, or some other ailment, recovery can be a challenging process. Of course, this is true for the patient themselves. However, it’s nearly as difficult for those around them. As a friend, family member, or caregiver, you naturally want to help your loved one through the recuperation process. Fortunately, there are several different ways you can do so, helping the patient and giving yourself a feeling of a little more control in the process.
Lend a hand in finding relief.
A physical or mental health concern alone is enough to cause distress; trying to find the right treatment invokes even more anxiety. You can help your loved ones by aiding them in their search. For instance, say your teen is looking for an intensive outpatient program as the next step in their treatment plan. They’re old enough to have a say in what treatment option or therapy program they prefer. However, that doesn’t mean they should be thrown to the metaphorical wolves. Instead, guide them through the process of finding an intensive outpatient therapy option that meets their needs, offering support and advice along the way.
Create an environment that promotes well-being.
In many cases, your loved one may require residential treatment, taking them away from home for some time. If that’s the case for your friend or family member’s treatment program, take the time to improve the home environment they’ll be returning to—or, if they’re dealing with outpatient treatment, work to make their space more conducive to healing. This may require moving an elderly person to a ground floor space, or replacing windows to prevent them from getting a chill. It can seem like you searching for “windows Grand Haven” is a small gesture, but the impact of this effort is significant.
Support their chosen treatment plan.
When it comes to any kind of medical treatment, it’s possible that the patient, their loved ones, and even their health professionals may disagree on the best course of treatment. Of course, medical advice is a crucial part of any treatment plan. But, at the end of the day, the person who’s dealing with this health issue deserves to have the final say. Sometimes, you won’t agree with their choice—and that’s okay. It is, however, important that you support them anyway. As a person who cares about them, this challenge is a crucial part of being there for them through recovery and beyond.
Be by their side every step of the way.
Supporting a sick loved one is hard. You won’t always know what to say, what to do, or how to help them. You‘ll likely feel helpless, unable to offer them more relief, or disheartened when they need yet another higher level of care. But, by staying by their side through the ups and downs of treatment, you’re truly showing that you care. Even in the moments when they need or want to be alone, knowing that you’re there when they need you once more can be enough to help them muddle through.
There’s no denying that a physical or mental health issue is taxing for the person it directly affects. However, it’s also a challenge for the people who love them. Whether your loved one is forming an individual treatment plan for overcoming substance use, attending an outpatient program as part of their recovery process, or recuperating from a physical injury or disease, you can be by their side throughout the roller coaster that is medical treatment. From creating a safe home environment to helping them find the right treatment option, every seemingly small effort you make will have a massive impact on their recovery and mental state.