How to Help in a Helpful Way

Imagine what it’s like to live with chronic pain.  There are many things outside of your control.

Here are some ideas to help in the most respectful way.

  1. Let them maintain their dignity.
  2. Give choices
  3. Ask for permission to offer ideas
  4. Respect their privacy.  They are entitled to private thoughts and feeling.
  5. Create the plan in advance.  When you have pain, your blind spot increases.  Have a conversation when things are calm.  Ask your loved one, “What would you like me to do if I see into your blind spot?”

“I’ve noticed that when it’s time for you to eat, you get a blank look in your eyes, and you get frustrated.  After a snack, you are much calmer.  What would you like me to do when I see the signs that it’s time to get something to eat?

6. Ask how you can be most helpful.  Say, “I love you and I want the best for you.  How am I doing?  What can I do better?”

7. Don’t take it personally.  Your loved one may take your help, and they may not.  It’s okay of they do not.

© 2015. Vicki Rackner MD  All rights reserved.