Adjusting to Changes in Lifestyle
A diagnosis of HE often brings changes to the way your loved one functions over time. These changes can impact your loved one’s personal and professional relationships, their ability to work, to share in household and family responsibilities, and care for themselves. In turn, this can affect family finances as a drop in family income often coincides with increased medical costs. All of these changes will require you to rethink responsibilities, family schedules, and how things get done.
Questions you’ll need to consider in terms of changes to your lifestyle can include:
- Can I continue to work – either full or part-time?
- Are there family members or friends who can assist with caregiving activities?
- Is our house equipped and/or safe for my loved one’s condition and his or her abilities?
- Will I still be able to travel? Can I leave my loved one alone?
- What is the impact of HE on our family budget?
The answers will depend upon your loved one’s condition and abilities, including their need to:
- take medication on a daily basis
- eat a special diet
- be driven to appointments
- stop working
- get help with activities of daily living
Both the caregiver and care recipient will need to adjust to the lifestyle changes that HE demands, requiring time and patience on the part of all involved.