When a friend or loved one is living with a painful illness it can be difficult to know how best we can help. Painful conditions can vary in intensity from day to day, the symptoms can come and go and are often not visible. Here are 5 ways you can help your friend or loved one.
Offer to make meals, help with food shopping, pick up the dry cleaning and make time to be patient and listen if your friend or loved one wants to talk or ask for your opinion or help - it might take them time to put their thoughts into words.
If you’re worried that your friend might not feel able to accept your help it might be easier if you present it as something you’re already doing. For example:
- I’m going to the supermarket today. Do you need anything?
- I’m heading into town tomorrow. Is there anything I can pick up for you while I’m there?
- I’m taking the kids to the park on Saturday, if your kids want to go too I can pick them up on the way.
When each day feels like a constant battle one of the best things you can do for a friend or loved one living with pain is the assurance that you’ll be there for them. Being in pain can be lonely.
Explaining Your Pain
Persistent pain (sometimes called chronic or long-term pain) is described as ‘pain that continues for three months or more and may not respond to standard medical treatment.
This article helps to explain what is going on when people have persistent pain, how they feel and what they can do about it.