Advocating for a Loved One in Pain

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Perhaps one of the most excruciating things to observe is a loved one in your life who may be suffering with pain. Whether due to a chronic injury, disease or any ailment, chronic pain can be debilitating and hinder an individual’s ability to truly thrive in life.

Whether you are a caregiver for a loved one in pain, a family member or friend, it can be difficult to watch a person you care for struggle through life. You may feel helpless and unsure how to best offer your support in a situation like this.

Staying Committed to Your Loved One

Staying committed to your loved one by caring for them through this journey can be an instrumental part of their recovery. If you are searching for tangible ways to help advocate for your loved one who may be suffering with pain, consider the following ways you can become involved:

Becoming Involved

If appropriate, consider becoming involved in your loved one’s health care. Are they receiving the necessary treatment to effectively manage their pain? Are they able to make to their doctor appointments on a regular basis? Do they need assistance with medication management?

Many of these seemingly simple aspects can become overwhelming to an individual who is suffering with pain, either acutely or chronically. Offering a lending hand of support can be a tangible way in, which you advocate for your loved one. This would also be a good opportunity for you to ask questions or have a discussion with you loved one’s health care provider.

Be a Voice for the Voiceless

Often times, individuals in pain may not fully express the depth of what they are experiencing or feeling.

couple-336655_640Even if you think your loved one is stable or okay, be sure to ask the important questions, such as how are they feeling? Is there pain improving? Are they experiencing any new symptoms? Asking the right questions may help encourage your loved one to voice their concerns.

Offer Unconditional Love and Support

Individuals in pain may feel as though they are a burden to their family members and friends. Offering your support and assistance patiently and kindly can speak volumes to your loved one during an otherwise stressful time. If you feel as though you cannot meet these needs, have resources or referrals for your loved one to set them up with the care they need.

Caring for a loved one in pain can be difficult, but your love and support can make all the difference!

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What tactics have you found helpful in advocating for a loved one in pain? In what ways have you been able to offer support in a situation that often seems dire or helpless?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 26th, 2015
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