Helping the person adjust to wellness

'Entrance to the garden gate' Theodore Earl Butler

Being well can free the person to enjoy life. However, some people find it hard to adjust to wellness. They may struggle to take on new opportunities that become available when they are well, or be reluctant to engage in social activities.

If the person seems well but still needs a lot of help, be cautious about automatically assuming that they are  stuck in the “sick role” and have difficulty adjusting to being well. They may have mild ongoing symptoms and find it difficult to carry out their usual tasks.

If the person does find it hard to adjust to times when they are well enough to be more independent consider:

  • Stepping back and encouraging the person to do more for themselves.
  • Encouraging them to do things they enjoy (e.g. visit friends or pursue a hobby).
  • Reminding the person that although they may have a lot to do, they don’t have to do everything at once.
  • Showing them that there are other ways the two of you can relate to each other, besides through the illness (e.g. pursuing activities together that you both enjoy).
  • Asking the person when appropriate for help or a favor, so they can experience how good it is to be the person who is doing the giving.
  • If you have the type of relationship where you can discuss things consider asking the person how they feel about the changes and demands involved in being well.