Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If I knew then what I know now . . .

Here are my top eleven ideas for helping a relative to heal. It's all about attitude.

1. Do not panic!

2. Accept only positive perspectives.

3. Be open minded to other ways of thinking.

4. Change your belief system.

5. You are an advocate for your relative, not the doctor's cheerleader.

6. Your relative is not chronic; the interventions that have been tried so far are a failure. Try something different.

7. Spread your eggs over many baskets.

8. Your relative is not brain-diseased, but is reacting this way for a reason. Be empathetic. Hold his or her hand and say "I understand you are angry/afraid/whatever and you have every right to be." You don't know why, at this point, so don't probe, just be there and be sympathetic and keep your mouth closed.

9. Indulge in self-examination.

10. This is a crisis only. There is an opportunity here for you and your relative to grow.

11. Beware declaring victory too soon.


  1. Rosa,
    This sharing that you do is amazing. I regularly send this link to people who are at the starting gate with their own loved ones, and unsure which way to go. At a minimum you offer them hope, and a potential...

  2. Thanks. It's all do-able, if people would just believe. People suffering this crisis need a strong support person who will stick with them through thick and thin. I was thinking today that it's really quite wonderful to see a person grow as they are getting better. It may sound selfish, but there is a lot in it for the relative if they would stick around and just keep at it, trying different things and not getting discouraged.


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