Chronic illnesses are often one of the worst doses of bad news you can experience in a lifetime. The tragedy is that what appears as a nightmare to many of us is a reality for millions worldwide.
What makes things worse is many of these illnesses are entirely avoidable. It should come as no surprise that some chronic and life-threatening diseases are a product of the environment you work in.
This makes the dose of bad news so much harder to digest, considering you might be able to avoid the issue entirely. This article will focus on workplace illnesses and what you can do to support people who have chronic/life-threatening illnesses.
The content of this article may be troubling to some; however, it may be an important read for others.
Being there for your loved ones who know their life might be ending soon is challenging to say the least.
However, though it may be hard for you, remember that this time is all about them and caring for them. Here are some ways you can support people affected by workplace illnesses.
1. Find legal representation
There is no reason that you and your loved ones should suffer for an employer’s negligence. Whether malicious or negligent, the employer should be tried in a court of law, and justice must be served to set an example for the masses.
Asbestos exposure is one of the most common workplace illnesses that manifest in the form of lung cancer known as mesothelioma. Finding the right mesothelioma lawyer is key in a situation like this. The case isn’t just about setting an example and making sure this does happen again to others.
It’s also about working towards a settlement to help pay for the victim’s medical expenses. It would be wise to find legal counsel and do so as soon as possible.
Time is of the essence, but the sooner you start the case, the sooner you can help the victim’s family with a settlement cheque to pay for the medical expenses.
2. Don’t ask too many questions
One of the worst things you can do in a situation like this is to ask the patient or their family about the condition.
How it happened, what they will do, and other details about the illness are simply off-limits when visiting the family.
If you have questions about the illness, consider researching them online rather than putting the patients or the family through the stress of having to answer troubling questions. It would be best to find out as much as possible through the internet. A general degree of curiosity and care can be shown; however, be mindful of boundaries.
Even if this is someone you were close to for years, don’t probe in too deep.
The patient/victim can become overwhelmed quickly if you aren’t careful. The last thing you want to do is make them feel awkward and uncomfortable in an already stressed-out state.
3. Find them another job
Depending on the severity of the illness, many patients can still work. However, the emotional stress of working for the place that caused the disease or injury is sometimes too hard to digest. Consider finding them another job they could manage. We live in a time where remote work is extremely common, and millions of people worldwide opt for work-from-home facilities.
To ensure that their source of income does not stop, find them a job that they can manage from home!
Sometimes people need to get their minds off the illness to feel normal again. With that said, keep in mind their abilities and what they can realistically do during this uncertain period.
It would be tragic if you offered them a job that stressed them out, regardless of whether it’s remote or not.
4. Provide empathy
If someone you know is suffering from a chronic or terminal illness, it would be best to provide them with the emotional support they need at this time.
Simply being there for some people is enough for them to feel slightly better about the situation. It may not seem like much but your presence and letting them know that you think their pain is a major step in the right direction. Not just for their potential recovery, but it’s a way to strengthen your relationship and make them feel like you are there for them.
If the illness is terminal, like mesothelioma, seeing them through to the end of their days with the utmost empathy is all anyone could ask for.
Remember that some people aren’t used to being treated like they’re leaving the world, and that’s fine. However, learning and being there for them gives them the will to live their lives to the fullest.
5. Support the family
As important as it is to be there for the patient, it’s also essential to lend a shoulder to the family members dealing with the situation. Many don’t know what to expect from the illness and cannot process their emotions. This is especially true when the patient is the breadwinner in the family; it’s important to check in on the family members occasionally.
Merely talking to them or providing minor assistance from time to time can go a long way in making life easier and honoring the memory of the patient/loved one.
However, if the family wants space and privacy, please honor their wishes, and give them the margin they need to process the situation.
There we have it, some of the best ways you can support a loved one who is affected by a workplace illness.
Tragically, it comes to this, but the reality is that this is common worldwide. We hope that this article has been helpful to you and that you take away something positive from the content. From finding legal counsel to caring for the patient’s family, we have discussed several ways of supporting loved ones dealing with a terminal workplace illness.
This is going to be a hard time for you. We hope you find the strength to see this time through and aid your loved one through trying times.