How to support a loved one with health concerns

Sometimes, the caregiving role is not planned for. It can be thrust onto you when a child, ageing parent, or a partner is suddenly hit with ill health. This role involves understanding and following instructions from the physician and crucial lifestyle changes. Data shows that the UK has about 6.4 million people caring for individuals with special medical needs. In other words, the caregiving role is quite prevalent in the UK. Therefore, if or when you find yourself thrust into it, here are some suggestions for handling it.

  1. Help them adapt to lifestyle changes
assorted sliced fruits
Photo by Jane Doan on

Many medical conditions come with drastic lifestyle changes, from diet to exercise and everything in between. A lifestyle change can positively impact treatment options. A lifestyle change can complement the treatment and health management process in medical circles. First, the mental strain of an initial diagnosis and subsequent lifestyle changes can take a toll on all aspects of a person’s well-being. However, such people can adjust and progress significantly with a good support system.

You can help with the adaptation process when you are closest to them. Changes like eating healthier, increased physical activity, and avoiding unhelpful habits detrimental to overall well-being are common. These changes can positively impact your health too.

  1. Contribute toward their healthcare, if you can

There are different ways to do this, and the impact is toward one goal. The first is to offer financial help directly to the person in question. Healthcare costs keep rising; even with the NHS, not everything is fully covered. The changing healthcare needs of the population make it quite challenging for the average person to foot the entire cost of medical bills. 

Therefore, a timely contribution to these needs can go a long way to alleviate the cost burden. On the other hand, if the individual can afford it and you still want to contribute to a health-related cause, you can donate to specific health needs like It will be your special way to make a difference in the lives of others who need help footing the cost of their healthcare.

  1. Attend medical appointments with them
chairs in a waiting room
Photo by Donald Tong on

The thought of attending medical appointments alone is something many people with difficult health conditions may have to deal with. This is often met with anxiety, fear, and physical and emotional demands. However, mental health experts say this can be countered with targeted help. This involves a trusted person attending such medical appointments with them. Indeed, others may want to deal with the details of their health challenges privately. If that is the case, the best option would be to offer that privacy.

On the other hand, if they agree to have you come along to these appointments, that would be of monumental help. Health experts say the most difficult part of medical appointments is in the waiting room. That is the period many people entertain negative thoughts. Your presence there can alleviate the pressure. Moreover, by starting positive and meaningful conversations in the waiting room, you can help stop their minds from drifting. Attending medical appointments is a form of emotional and mental support.


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