Receiving a diagnosis of any type of chronic illness can have a serious impact on your life — both day-to-day and for the long term. It can be life-shattering, but once you consider how to tackle it you will be able to manage much more easily.
Chronic illness and changes to your home life
Depending on what type of illness you have and how it is going to affect you, you might need to make modifications to your home. If mobility is an issue, consider moving your bedroom to a downstairs part of the house. You might also need to incorporate easy-to-use furniture, a walk-in bath or showers or even just kitchen items such as electric can openers. All of these can give you as much freedom as possible in your own home.
Can you keep working with your chronic illness?
Work and income are very real concerns for anyone recently diagnosed with a chronic illness. If you have a very active or physical role, performing your job may no longer be possible. Find out if you can get alternative employment or see what disability benefits you are entitled to. If you don’t have loss-of-income insurance, consider cashing out a life insurance policy. Known as a viatical settlement, this allows someone who is chronically or terminally ill to sell the investment of the policy to a 3rd party for a cash settlement, although not at full value.
Will your health insurance cover your treatments?
Another big concern is figuring out if medical insurance will cover all assistance and treatments you will need for the long term. It’s important to check as soon as possible if your condition is covered by your medical insurance. If there is a problem, you can work from there and submit an appeal if necessary.
Having a chronic illness can put a huge strain on family relationships. Spouses can see their loved ones changing. Playing with children or grandchildren might become difficult or even impossible. The support of family and loved ones will be absolutely essential.
Lifestyle & hobbies
If you are active and social, your new condition will be a real threat to your social and leisure life, which can be detrimental to your happiness and mental health. There are, however, many hobbies and interests that you can take up when chronically ill. Try reading, sewing or cooking, or perhaps learn a new language or to play an instrument. And thanks to the Internet, entertainment and communication is easier than ever from the comfort of your own home.