Caregiver challenges: helping infected family and friends
One of the most stressful things about helping someone who has an infection is getting resistance to your help. Sometimes your help is wanted, but there’s resistance to the methods you’re recommending. Often times we’re just not near enough to give the level of help we need to. It’s a lesson many people have to learn when they become a caregiver to someone with MRSA or Staph.
Everyone has their own opinions and beliefs about health, medicine and natural remedies. Some people are willing to try a new approach and accept your advice and help. Others strongly resist changing their point of view and have trouble accepting advice. Most people have to figure things out in their own way and in their own time.
Tips on being a better caregiver
There are several things that will help you care for your loved one without wearing out your welcome. Here are some guidelines to help if you are caring for someone with MRSA or Staph:
- Be informed. If you are the primary caregiver, then get up to speed with your loved one’s condition, their doctor, prescriptions and any other health challenges they may have. What type of infection do they have, how long have they had it, what treatments have been used?
- Do your research. Find out about the signs of Staph and MRSA, what these infections are, and what options exist to control them from both alternative and conventional medicine (because conventional antibiotic treatments often do not work).
- Protect yourself. If you are in contact with the person you’re helping, be sure to practice effective infection control to keep from getting infected.
- Get their buy-in. Ask your loved one for permission to help them. Unless there is mutual trust and openness, your efforts could be wasted and you could even do harm to your relationship.
- One step at a time. Alternative approaches to these infections are often required. Be sure to introduce new methods and approaches slowly, in steps or in phases. This is especially true for lifestyle changes, or when changes in people’s points of view are needed.
- Be Balanced. If your friend of family member is not open to alternative medicine, then present alternative options as an add-on or supplement to their mainstream medical treatments, not as a substitute for them. Avoid polarizing conventional medicine against natural medicine. You may need to expand you own belief system to become more open and be willing to acknowledge the validity of other approaches too.
- Your responsibility has limits. Remaining objective can be especially hard when someone you love is suffering from a painful and debilitating infection. But because everyone is ultimately responsible for their own health, it’s not your responsibility to make them better. It’s also easy to stress out when dealing with these situations, which can hamper your own immune system and make you more prone to catching an infection.
In the final analysis, your help is only beneficial to the degree that it’s accepted. It can be a hard lesson to learn. But learning it makes you a better caregiver and puts less strain on your relationship.