How to Deal With Asbestos Disease in Your Family
Coping for Caregivers: How to Deal With Asbestos Disease in Your Family
When family members are given the news that their loved one has an asbestos-related condition, feelings such as anger, disbelief, shock, and depression may immediately surface. These types of feelings may persist for several days, weeks, months, or years especially if the prognosis is poor. This can be an exceptionally troubling time for caregivers who are trying to take care of or support the loved one who has fallen ill. For instance, if a caregiver wants to avoid having to place a loved one in a hospital or rehabilitation center, taking on responsibilities such as in-home care or transporting the person with the condition to appointments may put the caregiver under additional stress . Some strategies that may help caregivers cope with their loved one’s illness include:
- Allowing time to grieve as opposed to suppressing emotions because grieving is a natural process.
- Learning as much as possible about asbestos-related conditions such as asbestosis or mesothelioma and how it affects the body.
- Sharing the information with the person who has the condition; this helps all of the family members involved address their emotions and concerns.
- Joining support groups and other organizations in the community that provide services for people with asbestos-related conditions.
- Encouraging other family members and friends to visit with and provide support for the person who has the condition.
The fear of not knowing how the disease will progress is among the main concerns of the victims and their families, but becoming more educated about the disease and services that are provided helps family members cope with the diagnosis. One type of educational group that advocates against unwarranted asbestos exposure and offers services to asbestos victims and their extended families is the White Lung Association (WLA). Families have reported that organizations such as WLA provided them with a significant amount of support . If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the physical signs of an asbestos-related condition such as mesothelioma and know that you have or may have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to report this to your doctor as soon as possible. Furthermore, if you would like information regarding your legal rights or possible financial compensation please contact us. References
- Hax MO. (2004). The psychosocial effects of asbestos disease on the victim’s chief caretaker and the extended family. Clydebank Asbestos Group, Clydebank, Sco. Retrieved from http://www.clydebankasbestos.org/gac2004/English/ws_F_02_e.pdf
- White Lung Association [WLA]. (2006). Asbestos watch: Newsletter of the White Lung Association, WLA, Baltimore, MD. Retrieved from http://www.whitelung.org/aw/