Employees are often exposed to toxins or unhealthy environments at work, especially if they’ve been performing the same job for many years.
Occupational diseases were first documented in 1775, when an English surgeon observed an association between certain cancers, working as a chimney sweep boy, and being constantly exposed to soot. Workplace diseases have since been observed in almost every field.
Nowadays, occupational diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis are widely publicized because they have affected miners and those exposed to toxins through asbestos inhalation.
Similarly, causing carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects office workers, restaurant staff, and those who work in labor-intensive professions. Another example would be healthcare workers and hairdressers complaining about painful rashes and skin conditions like eczema.
In addition to being life-threatening, being diagnosed with an occupational illness causes various other complications, including hospitalization, extended leaves, and unemployment. As cases for occupational diseases increase, law authorities offer several benefits to workers who sacrificed their health in order to perform their duties.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with an occupational disease, you’re liable to file a claim against the negligent company because the costs of treatment and medication can be devastating to a family struggling to make ends meet.
Occupational illnesses aren’t just prevalent in the industrial sector but also in the armed forces. If you know a loved one who’s also a veteran suffering from a terminal occupational disease like mesothelioma, helping them register at the nearest Mesothelioma Veterans Center would be an excellent idea.
Why? Because these centers are built to help veterans receive VA benefits and access financial compensation options. Since caring for a loved one with an occupational illness is very challenging, we’ve compiled a few tips to help make it easier for you.
Helping a Loved One with an Occupational Illness
Regardless of your circumstances, caregiving is a challenging role, and you aren’t trained for it. In fact, you probably didn’t anticipate this role. To be a good caregiver, you must have a loving personality, with the ability to understand others and listen to them.
If you allow yourself to open up to their issues and understand why they are the way they are, you’ll make caregiving more rewarding for yourself and them.
Prepare yourself for the situation
Knowing what symptoms, treatments, and timeframes to expect are essential parts of understanding any disease.
Provide your loved ones with a healthcare directive and a healthcare power of attorney if they don’t already have one, so they can get the care they deserve. You have to remember that the illness will progress with time, and you will have to make crucial decisions.
Be kind to yourself
Caregiving can lead to difficult emotions such as frustration, resentment, guilt, helplessness, and grief. Accepting and acknowledging your feelings, no matter what they are, is important.
Don’t punish yourself when you’re feeling doubtful because emotions like these don’t mean you don’t love them; they simply indicate that you’re human, too.
Spend time with your loved ones
What makes life meaningful is the capacity to care for others. When handled properly, caring for a loved one can bring meaning and pleasure equally to the caregiver and the person you’re caring for.
Try to focus your energy on the person you’re caring for, even if they can’t communicate verbally. Don’t let distractions like television, cell phones, or computers distract you.
Focus on making eye contact, holding the person’s hand, and communicating with a reassuring tone of voice. Through this process, you’ll experience a reduction in stress and improved physical and emotional health for both of you and your loved one.
Don’t neglect yourself
When you’re distracted, burned out, or overwhelmed by the daily grind of caregiving, connecting with a loved one who’s ill can be difficult. Remember that taking care of your loved one doesn’t mean neglecting your own needs. Caregivers must also take care of themselves.
Relax and learn how to de-stress and regulate yourself when you feel overwhelmed. There are various exercises you can do to relieve stress and help others see the brighter side of life by reliving happy memories.
Last but not least, if a loved one suffers from chronic illness, learn about the disease, help out with errands and provide emotional support. We all need a shoulder to cry on sometimes.
Comforting a loved one suffering from a terminal illness is challenging to say the least. Despite this, there are many things you can say or do to make their lives more meaningful. While caring for others, we often forget to take care of ourselves because we invest a lot of time thinking about others.
In this situation, you must learn to balance everything so you don’t neglect yourself and give ample time to your loved ones and make their days more memorable.