Dr. Laura
Dr. Laura, America's #1 Relationship Talk Radio Host
On: SiriusXM Triumph Channel 111
Call 1-800-DR LAURA (1-800-375-2872) 11am - 2pm PT
Dr. Laura Blog
6 Tips for Coping with a Loved One's Serious Illness
6 Tips for Coping with a Loved One's Serious Illness

When a family member or friend becomes seriously ill, there can be a sense of chaos, urgency, and confusion. Different people respond in different ways, and you may not know what to say or do. Here are 6 tips for coping with a loved one’s serious illness:

  1. Treat them as normally as possible. After the initial shock of the diagnosis has subsided, many people will want you to treat them the same way you always have. Otherwise, they feel like they’re already dead.

  2. Be there. The best way to be there for someone is to do just that - be there. Give hugs and act lovingly.

  3. Don’t try to be their therapist. Dying isn’t a science. Don’t assume that someone who is terminally ill is going through certain stages or some other methodical process. The hope is that they come to some point of acceptance so they’re not emotionally suffering, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes denial is a good thing. They may be afraid of the pain or losing control of their mind and/or bodily functions. They may hate being a burden on others. There simply is no right or wrong way to deal with it.

  4. Find a minister or counselor. Sometimes it’s easier for them to talk to non-family members.

  5. Talk about their life with them. Listening to stories and sharing laughs about someone’s life often makes that person recognize that he/she has had a rich life.

  6. Express the truth about how you feel. When you’re losing someone you love, grief is a very natural response, and it’s extremely overwhelming. You may feel inappropriate guilt about not doing or saying the right thing. You need to find someone to talk to that really hears you.  

Want more Dr. Laura? Join the Dr. Laura Free Family to listen to Dr. Laura's daily Call of the Day and receive her Daily Dose newsletter! 

Tags: Mental Health, Personal Responsibility, Stress, Tips, Values
< Back to Dr. Laura Blog Archives
Make an Appointment
Stay Connected
or connect at a place below
Normal Gear
Latest Poll
How often is work stressful?
Archives  |  Results
About Dr. Laura
E-mail of the Day
From Listeners
Audio & Video
YouTube Videos
Stay at Home
Simple Savings
Work at Home
Tip of the Week
Help & Support
Family Premium Help Center
Podcast Help
Contact Us
Terms of Use
© 2019 DrLaura.com. Take on the Day, LLC
Dr. Laura is a registered trademark of Take On The Day, LLC.
Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy
Powered By Nox Solutions