Its not like the flu, it doesn’t get better. Being chronically ill means that you are never going to recover. In fact, most chronic illness like COPD is progressive and will only get worse with the passage of time. But, your journey was not meant to walked alone and there are many support systems set up for you. The time is right now, it’s your job to find out where they are and to utilize them to their maximum capacity. Think of those who are there to help you through the hard days and where you found those people. Building a strong social network gives us a sense of belonging and gives us a platform to voice our questions. Learn coping skills on how you can manage day to day. Stave off isolation that leads to loneliness and depression. Now it is time to find other people that can offer those supports that help you get from one day to the next. Lets others know what you need so they can selflessly help you. People want to help and are there for the asking.
Types of Support for Chronic Illness
This type of support comes from #doctors, #social workers and #medical staff. Mostly this type of support follows a hospital admission. Make the most of the information being passed on and remember that before you are discharged is the time to inquire about what supports can be offered to you. Hospitals discharge much earlier that ever before and therefore run many step down supports for re-entry of all kinds of disabilities. Reach out to social services and ask if you can home visits. We are often more comfortable in our own kitchen. They will be more than happy to keep you informed of any things being offered in you area. Even if the waiting list is long, get on it.
Social Support for Chronic Illness
Have you thought of looking into an in-person support group. At in person groups you will find hope and compassion as others share their stories of what works for them as they struggle with the same disabilities as you have. A connection and interaction develops by virtue of being in the same room. Most in-person groups have an educational component along with a social component. They usually meet on a regular schedule about once every month or two. Places to look for in person groups is Cancer Society, Lung Association, Kidney Foundation or Heart and Stroke association.
If you can’t find an in-person group in your area to attend, why not think about starting one.
With Lung disease, we know that at any given time there are more than a million people that have the disease and go diagnosed. Just think of the people out there for you to help.
Facebook and Instagram have a plethora of support groups. Most groups are closed groups. This means that only members can read or post the comments. You must also abide by the group rules and regulations or face expulsion. Nobody outside of the group can post comments or read your comments. This makes it an easy place to vent and to let go with fear of repercussions, you are in a safe environment. You family and friends can not see your comments. It is also a place to learn what works for people like you who have the same chronic illness.
Once you decide what kind of group you are looking for, type it in the search bar at the top of the page and be blown away by the options.
However, due to the abundance of groups you should try to streamline what you are looking for. Most online support groups have a theme. You will spend a fair amount of time with the group so ask yourself what you are looking for in a group. What you expect to get out of the group? Having that answer allows you to search for a group that provides that. If you are in an exercise group, don’t expect them to post nutritious recipes every day.
↵ some of my most viewed groups!
What Makes A Good Support Person For Those with Chronic Illness
Treasure the person who always shows up, the one who asks and doesn’t tell. The one that is just a phone call away and helps when loneliness crowds your mind. When the need for company is imminent, I can call this person and they will make it a party.
For some of us this is a spouse but some don’t have a spouse. Or a child but everyone doesn’t have children so even a friend who has become family by virtue of their staying power. Some of us have many and some of us only have one. Regardless of the numbers, always be thankful that are lucky enough to have any.
It is worth gold when you have someone to talk to who will encourage you to do what you know you need to do. These are the one’s who respect and encourage us to follow our self care plan regardless of what that entails.
These are the people who teach us about hope and compassion and teach us to connect by listening and being a sounding board. They are the first to make the phone call and say lets have a tea together,
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