Four Ways to Help Your Daughter Through a Long-Term Illness

By: Amy Nielson.

Long-term illnesses can be stressful, frightening and cause financially instability for many people. If your daughter has been diagnosed with a long-term illness, you’ll undoubtedly want to do everything that you can to help her. If you are searching for ways that you can provide assistance for your daughter without taking complete control of her life, here are five ideas:

1. Listen to Her

For the majority of people, having someone that is willing to listen is extremely helpful. Your daughter may be scared, sad, anxious, angry or depressed. It’s not unusual for those diagnosed with long-term illnesses to experience various stages of grief. Call or visit your daughter often, sitting by and allowing her to express her feelings without the fear of being judged. For many people coping with an illness, the ability to talk about their emotions is incredibly cathartic. If your daughter is uncomfortable talking to you about the way she’s feeling, encourage her to seek the help of a therapist if necessary.

2. Ask Her

Instead of deciding what it is that you want to do for your daughter, ask her what it is that she needs you to do for her; her answer may surprise you. Your daughter may need you to cook a few meals, give her a ride to the clinic or even sit with the kids so she can get some rest. While you may think that cleaning the house is helpful, your daughter may not be concerned with spotless counters. Don’t jump in and do things without asking, it may backfire on you, making your daughter feel helpless and angry. Find out what she needs from you and help her with the things that she feels are necessary; those things may differ than what you had in mind.

2. Help with Finances

Helping your daughter with finances doesn’t mean that you have to hand over your paycheck, but it does mean that you can make some phone calls and do some research on her behalf. For instance, you can look for supplementary health insurance plans for Canadians if your daughter’s primary insurance won’t quite pay for all of her bills. You can contact utility companies and make arrangements for budget payments if your daughter is unable to return to work. Even finding friends and family who are willing to prepare meals for your daughter’s family can help cut some of the fat out of the family budget by helping your daughter save on groceries.

2. Spend Time With the Kids

If your daughter has children, she may be worried about neglecting them due to her illness, forcing herself to participate in activities when she should be resting. Ask your daughter what she normally does with the kids or which activities the family likes to take part in together and act as a stand-in. Not only will this thoughtful act on your part help your daughter, but it will help prevent the kids from feeling neglected and may ease some of their concern. Even if your grandchildren don’t have specific activities that they take part in with their mom, try to get them out of the house. Keeping the kids occupied will benefit everyone in the family; your daughter can get the rest that she needs, and the children will be able to forget their worries for a short time.


Amy Nielson is an avid blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @NielsonAmy.

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