By: Dr. Shilpa.S.N. BAMS, MD, DNHE
In the condition of ill health or any physically or mentally debilitating disease/ disorder, a person becomes dependent on his relatives or close ones to perform his day to day activities. Dependency is a complex phenomenon. It gradually makes the person mentally weak and depressed. Prolonged illness makes him to lose his self confidence and begins to deteriorate his inner strengths.
Hence in treating any disease a person’s care takers play a major role in effective implementation of treatment protocols. Let’s see how they can make their support more beneficial.
They can extend their support in 2 aspects,
In terms of physical help
This can be extended based on their need. It includes accompanying the patient to his doctor, understanding his treatment aspects & assisting him to properly follow the diet & treatment regimen.
Sometimes he may need the physical support for his movements or other activities.
A person who has suffered a paralytic attack should be encouraged for movements. He needs to be motivated to do gradual movements to release the stiffness and improve the muscle tone.
A person with fractured leg can be given support to walk & regain his gait.
But there is also a negative side to this kind of assistance. Sometimes they become accustomed to support and may fear to do the movements voluntarily.
In terms of psychological help
This is very much essential to the person as any condition that affects the body invariably has an effect on the mind. The person will be unable to manage the sudden crisis occurring due to the disease condition.
Especially some of the terminal illnesses like Cancer, AIDS, etc., where the person is aware of the prognosis and the final consequences, proper consoling and empathy play a synergic role in the treatment.
They should be given positive hope about the outcome of the treatment being undertaken and should be encouraged towards positive thinking.
As the renowned author Robin.S.Sharma quotes in his book ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ – “Chinese character for ‘crisis’ is composed of two sub-characters: one that spells ‘danger’ and another that spells ‘opportunity’.
Even the ancient Chinese knew that there is a right side to the darkest circumstance – if we encourage to look for it.” Such an attitude to look for positive things even in negative situation can prove to be a boon to them.
Yuvraj Singh singled out his mother Shabnam Singh as the sole motivator in winning the battle against cancer. As Yuvraj singh says in his autobiography. “She stood by me and literally gave me a second birth. My friends never pitied me, either. At times they believed more in me than I did.”
Another famous celebrity Jane Wilde, author and educator, ex-wife of renowned physicist, cosmologist and scientific writer Stephen William Hawking supported him through his health problems for years. He continued to work even in his most crippling state of disability caused due to motor neuron disease.
But as it is said “Too much is too bad” showing too much of empathy and emotional involvement with the person may also be fatal.
It may create insecurity about his condition and cause irritability and discomfort in him. He may begin to feel useless and ultimately lead to suicidal tendencies in few.
To sum up, the care takers have a responsibility to prepare the person mentally to accept the tranquility of life. They should be made aware of the eternal fact that all have to leave this world one or the other day.
“It is not important that how many days we lived. It is important how we lived”.
Let’s live each day full of life and enthusiasm and leave the world by contributing something useful to the society and mankind.