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Four Tips for Coping with a Chronic Illness 

Caregiver in Portland OR: Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses can appear for your senior at any point. She may have had perfect health for a long time, until she was diagnosed with a chronic health issue. There’s a lot to deal with in terms of chronic health problems and that includes emotional impacts as well as physical impacts.

Go on a Fact-finding Mission

You need as much information as you can gather in order to make the right decisions for your senior. This can mean doing your own research, talking to your senior’s doctor, and learning from national groups and agencies that help people with your senior’s specific illness. Depending on what your senior is dealing with, there might be a ton of information out there for you to process. Take it slowly and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed.

Depression Is Very Common

An important fact to remember is that depression is frighteningly common for people who have chronic illnesses. Feelings of loss about what she can’t do any longer contribute to this a great deal, but there are also the changes to her social life and other factors to consider. Some chronic illnesses can also have chemical effects within the body that interfere with her body’s natural ability to release or to recognize things like endorphins, which help with mood regulation.

Find Ways to Get Extra Support

You and your senior are going to need as much additional support as you can gather. Other family members, friends, and neighbors may be able to pitch in, which is wonderful. Joining support groups might also be an option, both for your senior and for you. Depending on how much additional care your senior needs, elderly care providers maybe the right choice. They can help with tasks that are too difficult for you to handle.

It Might Be Time to Tackle Those Big Conversations

If you and your senior have been postponing some of those big conversations about end-of-life issues, now might be the time to get past that. Chronic illnesses can last for years and years, but some might shorten your senior’s lifespan more or faster than she expects. Talking about what she wants from the end of her life and how she wants that to go, ideally, is really important to do.

Remember to practice self-care as you help your senior through these experiences. If you’re ignoring what you need, that can create obstacles that neither you nor your senior need.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Caregiver in Portland, OR, please contact the caring staff at Integrity In-Home Care. Call today (503) 660-3755