As we age, it might be easy to succumb to despair when loved ones or ourselves become ill. Illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer’s and dementia can be devastating, both physically and mentally, and dealing with these, as well as the normal maladies of old age, can be a lot. Many people can become depressed and despondent in the face of these realities. What are some ways to face these situations with optimism, grace, and hopefulness?
Handling Illness Without Losing Hope
There’s a trend among some people who have loved ones suffering from chronic illness to simply ignore any reminders of the illness. They feel as though staying aloof and ignoring the reality of the situation will help them to avoid the consequences of the disease.
However, this is a poor way to handle the situation. Ignoring something as serious as a chronic illness gives you no chance to make peace with it and reconcile the situation. By facing the disease head-on, reading materials related to it and speaking honestly with medical professionals, you can get a better grasp on the reality of the situation. From there, you can begin working on staying positive in the face of the disease.
Even in the face of serious illness, staying positive is important. Yes, things might seem dire, and it’s important to be realistic about chronic illness, but you also can’t make this situation into something you despair over. Positivity can put you in control of your own situation in a much healthier way than denial can.
Don’t change the way you perceive the person in question, and don’t baby them. Be aware of their limitations and struggles, and be ready to help them with things they can no longer do. However, don’t let this become something you dread: remember, this is a person you love, and you know they’d do the same if the roles were reversed.