Ways to Show a Family Member They Are Not a Burden
10 Ways to Show a Terminal Family Member That They Are Not a Burden
According to research, as many 65% of people who are terminally ill feel that they're a burden to others, and those feelings can add to their suffering. When caring for terminal patients it’s important to see to more than their physical needs. You also should consider their emotional needs and offer assurance they are not a burden.
Showing a terminal family member that they are loved and appreciated rather than an encumberment is quite a straightforward task. The most effective ways are usually the simplest, as these 10 ideas show:
1. Be Present
Some people don’t know how to cope with the feelings that come with having a terminal family member, and so they avoid them. Others fear saying or doing the wrong thing so much that they also steer clear. Even though those people don’t intend to add to the patient’s stress and suffering, their actions could confirm feelings of being a burden.
This makes it all the more important for you to be present for your family member. You don’t necessarily need to say or do anything. Sometimes simply sitting in the same room while they watch TV or read the paper is enough.
2. Be Responsive
When spending time with your ill relative, let them lead the interactions. If they want to talk about the weather, their most memorable summer holiday, or anything else other than their illness, let them – even if you’ve heard the story 101 times before.
If they want to talk about their illness, listen attentively without interrupting them or offering advice they didn’t ask for. There’s a good chance that they just want to talk. If you can tell that they don’t want to talk about their health and that they don’t know what else to talk about, try to find safe topics you can both discuss. You could also encourage them to talk about their lives and remember good experiences and events.
3. Make A Care Package
A person who feels that they are a burden may also believe that others are helping them out of a sense of duty, rather than because those others love and care for them. Putting together a care package for your ill family member will let them know that you really are thinking about them, and you really do care.
You can include items such as an inflatable neck pillow and an eye mask, a pack of soft tissues, moisturizer and lip balm, a few of their favorite snacks, a notepad and pen, and any magazines or books they may be interested in reading.
4. The Power Of Touch
Being touched by another person can trigger the release of feel-good endorphins. When you spend time with someone who is ill, use the power of appropriate touch to let them know you care. Whether it’s a hug, a handshake, a reaffirming hand on their shoulder or upper arm or holding their hand it can make a world of difference.