Tips for Coping While Caring for Someone With Cystic Fibrosis

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by Patricia Silva PhD |

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Being a carer for anyone with a long-term disease can be emotionally draining and stressful, but even more so if the patient is your child. As a carer, it’s important to make time for yourself to help manage the emotional pressure involved.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has some useful information to help people caring for children with cystic fibrosis.

MORE: Learn about cystic fibrosis symptoms in children and babies 

One of the primary difficulties of caring for a child with a chronic illness is that the carer often ends up focusing all their attention on the child’s needs and forgets to make time for themselves or to think about what they might need. This can be dangerous because any build-up in stress or anxiety can result in depression, and affect someone’s ability to care for a child.

Symptoms of stress can be both physical (headaches, stomach issues, backaches and trouble sleeping) as well as emotional (feelings of frustration, sadness, depression, anxiety, guilt, anger, loneliness and resentment). Stress can also affect a person mentally, causing feelings of confusion or forgetfulness, or trouble making decisions and paying attention.

The key is to recognize the signs which may suggest the carer needs a hand with their responsibilities. Always make sure to talk to the child’s care team if you identify symptoms of stress to help find a solution.

MORE: Six common symptoms of chronic fatigue

There are also some simple tips that can help reduce stress:

  1. Stay organized: Respond to bills, medication instructions and insurance forms as soon as they arrive to avoid a backlog.
  2. Inform yourself: Find out as much as you can about CF to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Maintain your social life: Make time to see friends and family to avoid feeling isolated and alone.
  4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Eat well and exercise regularly and make sure you get 30 minutes of fresh air every day.
  5. Sleep! Maintain a good sleep routine. Make sure you try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Don’t stay in bed when you are no longer asleep.

MORE: Six tips to reduce stress and help you relax

Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.