No one is ever ready for a loved one to receive a diagnosis of a serious or terminal illness. It can make you feel untethered and out of control while it affects every aspect of your life. The ill family member will need significant care, but you can’t neglect yourself in the process. Here are four tips for coping with a difficult diagnosis.
Tip #1: Seek Counseling
Talking about how you feel is essential to helping you cope with the illness, treatment, and potential death of your loved one. From anger to denial, anticipatory grief to feeling overwhelmed, a counselor can help you work through the feelings and cope with what your loved one, and you are going through.
Tip #2: Spend Time Together
Now is the time to be with your loved one. Be open to communication, spend time focusing on connection, and talk about the things you’ve neglected. Talk about the treatment, the prognosis, and what comes after.
Tip #3: Set Up a Support Network
Whether your family member is seriously or terminally ill, you need a support network. Now is the time to circle the wagons. Call on friends and family to help with daily tasks, meals, doctor appointments, and care. Take time to be with friends and loved ones, and take small breaks from being a care giver. Let others help you.
Tip #4: Do the Practical Planning
No one wants to talk about planning for a loved one’s incapacitation or end of life. However, when a serious or terminal diagnosis occurs, that is the time to talk about it and create a plan to care for your loved one and your family. Advance care directives, power of attorney, and estate planning are never easy but don’t wait until it’s too late. The right way to care for them now and honor them when they’re gone is by ensuring handling the legal issues with their input and oversight.
If your family member has a serious or terminal diagnosis, coping can become a daily challenge. We’re here to help. Our compassionate and experienced legal team will work with you to create an estate plan to care for your loved one, you, and your family. Contact McCutchen McLean LLC today.