If you live with a person with a chronic illness, you may need to help out more than usual. You may find that your roles and responsibilities change as your loved one’s condition gets worse. Here is a guide to living with chronic illnesses in Singapore.
What are chronic illnesses?
Chronic illnesses are long-term medical conditions that are severe and difficult to cure. Medical professionals can mitigate risk factors, but chronic illnesses are often incurable.
Chronic illnesses are those which are life-long and have a high rate of recurrence. Chronic illnesses may be life-threatening, such as cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Or they may have less serious conditions such as asthma, arthritis, etc.
Pulmonary or cardiovascular disease is caused by a chronic illness affecting the heart or lungs. A rheumatic condition is the term used when joints or bones are affected by chronic illness.
These chronic conditions affect the body’s organs over time and can result in serious consequences if not treated appropriately. Some people are diagnosed with these conditions at an early age, not just in later years. It is important to know how to cope with chronic illness when you live with someone who has one of these conditions.
Many chronic illnesses can have a big impact on the person’s quality of life and his or her ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. The effects of these illnesses may be long-lasting and also affect the family’s well-being as well.
It is important to note that chronic illness does not mean “lifelong” illness. It just means that the illness has lasted longer than a year or two in most cases. However, people with certain chronic illnesses can go on to develop other conditions (for example, heart disease can lead to strokes or heart attacks).
How can chronic diseases affect your daily life?
Chronic diseases may be more serious than most people think. This can lead to complications which may result in hospitalization, rehabilitation and even death. They can affect your loved one’s ability to work or study, and may also affect their ability to enjoy a fulfilling social life.
Many chronic diseases are progressive and often get worse over time. This means that you may need to take on more responsibilities as your loved one’s condition gets worse. For example, you may need to help with shopping for groceries, paying bills and looking after the house. You might also have to take on extra responsibilities at work, such as handling the office workload or attending meetings with the boss.
How can you live with someone who has a chronic illness?
The good news is that there are things you can do to make your life easier if you live with someone who has a chronic disease or condition.
Take control of what happens in your household
While your loved one is away from home, you have the right to make decisions about how your home is run. This includes when they go out of town for treatment or if they need help at home due to their illness. Discuss your preferences before your loved one leaves home to be prepared for any needed assistance.
Learn to delegate
If you do not have the time or energy to do everything, it is best to outsource some of your tasks. For example, if you are too busy to make meals for your loved one, find a friend or family member who can help out. If you do not have the time to drive your loved one around for treatment or therapy, find someone who can take them.
You may also need to get help from others. This may include a caregiver who can come in and help with chores and errands while you are at work or an elderly relative who can come and stay with your loved one while you are away on holiday.
Manage the medical bills
Keeping track of monthly medical expenses is important to ensure there is enough money for essentials. It is also important that all medical bills are paid in full and on time so that there is no financial burden on your loved one when they get better.
It helps to be positive when your loved one has a chronic illness as this will give them hope for the future and will boost their morale. When your loved one has a chronic illness, you may find that you need to take more responsibility for household chores and tasks. However, this is often the case when your loved one is getting better and you can be there to help them back on their feet.
This may be the hardest thing to do while living with someone who has a chronic illness as they will often not be able to do things that they used to do before they got sick. You may have to make some changes in your lifestyle and adjust what you expect from them.
Be there for them
If you are living with someone who has a chronic illness, it is important that you stay by their side throughout the process of recovery. Your love and support will help boost their morale during the difficult times when they are not feeling well or when treatment does not seem to be working as well as it should.
It is important that you support your loved one while they are living with a chronic illness. This means being there for them and helping them adapt to their new lifestyle.
Do not wait until it’s too late. Start practising a healthier lifestyle today but also prepare for the worst.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article! Check out our other blog articles for more additional information on eldercare in Singapore.