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It's never easy dealing with an illness; particularly if one of our family members is suffering. We want to help the sick household members feel better. Being the caregiver for another human (or even a pet) can be overwhelming at times. Thus, knowing what methods are best for each situation is key to staying on track. When caring for loved ones that are ill, it is imperative to keep calm, and take preventative measures to keep the ailment from spreading, or developing into something more serious.
Caring for Sick Children and Adults
There is no worse feeling than when our children are sick. Even if it's a more common virus, such as a cold or a sore throat, our kids seem to be affected more severely. Luckily, these ailments can be detected quite soon after the symptoms begin to occur. Additionally, there are several types of remedies for parents to pick from that will aid the sick child. When deciding on an over the counter medicine, be sure to choose one that addresses the child's specific symptoms, and also enables the youth to sleep well. If diarrhea or vomiting ensues, a modified approach is required. In these instances, hydration is essential, though it is critical not to push fluids too quickly. Dr. Vincent Iannelli from Everyday Wellness recommends that "An oral rehydration electrolyte solution is usually the best choice, and you can offer your child one to three teaspoons of fluid every five to ten minutes." If a child's symptoms involve a high fever, or earache, a parent should communicate with the child's pediatrician quickly.
When it comes to adults our immune systems are more developed than our children. Consequently, we are typically able to manage the symptoms of our sicknesses a bit easier. Even though adults can usually manage their ailments better, there are ways to help. A caregiver can offer to run errands, or drive their sick partner to the doctor. Also, try pitching in with household chores to help the sick family member. If the sickness is extreme or severe, a caregiver's role may include more strenuous tasks such as bathing or dressing the patient.
An Ailing Pet
Many of us consider our pets members of our family. As a result, we tend to feel just as emotional when our pets get sick as when our children or spouses are ill. We don't always know what to do when the dog flu hits, or if your bird is molting excessively. It isn't uncommon for symptoms to become more severe in pets before their owners know something is wrong. Something as simple as dog flu can turn into infections if untreated. Consequently, it is more imperative that owners take notice of any abnormal behaviors in your pet's routines. Simple things such as eating less, or sleeping more can be signs that your pet is feeling under the weather. These behaviors should be monitored for a couple days. If no improvement is noticed, owners should consult a veterinarian right away.
Taking Care of the Caregiver
Caregivers tend to give their all, especially if their loved one's illness is severe. It is not uncommon that the person who is going without sleep, or settling for inadequate meals isn't a sick person. When helping another through sickness, caregivers must ensure that they also get adequate rest, eat properly, and regular exercise. Most of all, those caring for sick family members must take time to relieve stress. Feelings of guilt, anger, or frustration are common when we find ourselves in this role. Therefore, caregivers should remember to maintain their own health first and foremost.
When our loved ones are sick, we feel it too. We want to become caregivers and nurture our family members back to good health. As caregivers, we want to help them feel comfortable, and recover as quickly as possible. Staying mindful of each situation's unique dynamics will keep caregivers focused and organized. While taking care of ourselves will enable us to give the best we can to our sick family members.