No one can make it alone in this world. We are social creatures - we need each other. All the successful people in the world would not be where they are if it were not for support from others.
Sports people, for example, succeed because they have a team of people to back them up - coaches, trainers, managers, sponsors etc.
So it is with chronic illness. To survive the complexities and challenges, it is important to create a support team for yourself.
Organise appropriate support to maintain wellbeing
and avoid physical deterioration
- Communicate effectively with friends and family about one’s health status. Garner their support.
- Maintain positive relationships with family, friends and caregivers, including General Practitioner and medical specialists.
- Delegate tasks that exacerbate the condition, and those that are difficult or impossible.
- Find out whether there are services available to help with regular activities; e.g. cleaning, household chores, personal care, transport, childcare, home and garden maintenance etc.
- Locate allied health services that are beneficial to maintaining the condition; e.g. physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, dieticians, podiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists etc.
- Find out eligibility for any grants or financial assistance packages to aid in hiring assistance or accessing allied health services.
- Join a local support or advocacy group for sufferers of the condition. It can be very helpful to receive newsletters of the latest research developments and compare notes with others. Knowing that one is not alone can be a relief and a small comfort. Reduce feelings of inadequacy by knowing it isn’t ‘just me’.
- Spend more time with people who help you to feel good while avoiding people who add stress to your life.
By taking an active role in the management of your health, and working alongside your General Practitioner, you can be the head of your own 'care team' to achieve your goals.