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And here is another personal piece written on being a good support person. Thanks, Andrea
10 Tips on Being a Good Support Person
First and foremost, I have to say this is from my personal experience and it’s not an easy job and you have to be in it to really understand it. But I hope some of these tips will help you get through it:
- Look after yourself. You need to be well rested so that you can look after your loved one and be a good support person.
- Know your limits and if you reach your limit, ask for help. You’re not superman and remember no one is. If you need to take time out, do so and ask for a substitute support person to help out. You owe it to yourself and your loved one that you looking after. Remember, a happy, relaxed, recharged supporter is great support.
- Mental support. Have somewhere or someone that you can go to for help and mental support. A place that you can be totally honest. This is important as it will get mentally draining and you would need to get some help. You owe it to yourself and the loved one you looking after.
- Don’t give yourself a hard time, you are only a human.
- Don’t think of the future too much as it can get a bit messy or scary in your head. Focus on daily and weekly matters where your support is required now, not five or ten years from now.
- Stay active. Swim, go to gym; play some outdoor/indoor sport or anything that demands a lot of physical activity. Even if it’s once a week, it helps, getting some frustration out.
- Laughter is the best medicine, it really is. See or do things that help lift your spirits. You have a lot of serious things to deal with in your day to day life so it’s ok to have some silly time for you.
- Listen, really listen to your loved one and hear them out. Work with them not from what you think is best for them.
- Educate yourself, attend the support groups, go to treatment sessions and read about the symptoms, side effects and reactions. All that will help you understand better why they get forgetful or extra sensitive for example.
- Finally, Hang in there, be kind to yourself and always know that your partner/wife/loved one would do the same for you, if not more.