Supporting the Sick

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There is a lot of literature on how to treat and cure diseases, but sometimes in the process of attending to the sick, the attendant often may find them self uneasy and fatigued. 

To understand how your body responds to caring for others intensively, conduct a simple exercise on yourself.  Take a moment and stand up.  After standing for a few seconds hold one of your legs up.  At first it is a simple task to do.  After time however the weight of the leg in the air becomes heavier and heavier. 

Eventually, the muscle gets fatigued, you loose balance, and you will place the leg back on the ground.  When caring for others a long period of time, we too will become fatigued and loose the balance of life from the demands of care.  Below are three tips to help our minds and bodies stay in a position of support with steadiness and not fatigue.

1- Set up a rotation.  Depending on our personality and life factors outside of caring for the sick, we will have different thresholds of being able to care for others.  In order to not reach our thresholds try to set up a rotation of 2 or 3 people to care for the sick.  This will give you needed time to recharge and the sick a feeling of communal love.

2- Don't feel strange about needing a rest.  Most of us that care for others, especially our loved ones will serve themselves into poor mental and physical health.  Taking a break is not the same as quitting.  It is not strange to have a break, but actually very natural.  The duration of the break is up to the needs of the situation, but even robots need to recharge their batteries every once and a while.

3- Define realistic expectations early in the process.  When the individual falls ill, talk with them and possibly their doctor to get an accurate assessment of the situation.  Next, sit down with the person in need of care and exchange needs and abilities.  Don't over commit, but at the same time communicate you care about them.  Expectations are defined and respected more if defined in the beginning of the process rather than during the process.

 

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