More often, when a patient receives an unsettling diagnosis, it affects the rest of their family members as well. A serious condition like diabetes or heart disease can cause distress in the household, even more so when the proper support is not provided.
While it’s normal to worry about a close relative with heart disease, providing the wrong support can do more harm than good. Those that become too protective may cause the patient to feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. It may also lead to other health issues, such as depression or anxiety, which can worsen things.
6 Ways to Build a Healthy Support System with the Family
There are many ways to provide a strong support system in the family without making the patient feel discouraged. Here are some basic things you can do to help.
- Offer to accompany them to medical appointments
Patients may often feel frightened or nervous about going to their doctor alone. To help them feel more at ease, offer to accompany them through their progress and provide support in little ways. This can be by either holding their hand, offering reassurance or simply being around.
2. Encourage healthy habits
Supporting your family member through small reminders like taking their medicine or eating healthy can be a big help. Likewise, you can also pick up the same food and fitness plan to help your loved one ease into the habit. This not only helps both of you stay healthy but also allows you to bond and overcome these challenging times.
3. Research their condition
Heart disease can be different for each patient. To better understand the needs of your loved ones, take the time to study the topic and know what to prepare for. Doing so can help you customize your support according to their needs.
4. Never pressure them
Avoid rushing patients to pick up healthy habits or pressuring them into telling you how they feel. Wait for them to be ready to talk about their experiences and express their thoughts and emotions. Give them room to breathe and allow them to do things on their own.
5. Remain positive
While you may feel uncomfortable or worried, know that your loved one probably feels the same about their condition. When times are low, be encouraging and look at the positive side of things. You can also acknowledge their efforts and successes to help ease their mood.
6. Lend an ear
Sometimes, a patient may not be comfortable sharing everything with you. In this event, try not to take it personally. Always remember to respect their boundaries and simply offer to be there when they are ready.
A Family is Forever
Having a family member diagnosed with heart disease can be a difficult time to get through. But while it is understandable for you to worry, know they are also just as lost with the situation. It is crucial to provide the right type of support system for your family to help with their physical, mental, and emotional progress.