If you are reading this, you likely have a family member, close friend, or partner who is living with lupus. As a result, you might want to learn how to help and support them. First, I have to commend you for the very act of researching tips and advice because just that means so much to someone who is living with a chronic illness.
When I was first diagnosed with this disease 20 years ago, I had a large circle of friends in my life. While I do believe many had good intentions when they said, “Let me know if you need anything,” there were only a handful of people who stuck around long enough to really act as a pillar of support over these past two decades.
Research and Open Communication
When someone we love is suffering, it’s natural to want to help. However sometimes, we aren’t sure how or what that help looks like. Since lupus affects everyone differently, I have two separate pieces of advice. First, research as much as you can about the disease and how it affects their daily life (both physically and mentally). Secondly, focus on open communication and having an in-depth conversation with them about their condition and what they need.
To help get you started, I’ve provided an opening to kick off the conversation. Of course, this is just a guideline. Use your own language (depending on your relationship with this person).
“I understand living with a chronic illness every day can be physically and mentally exhausting, so I would like to discuss some ways I can help you. I want to be a part of your support system. I have read about lupus and now understand how it can make simple activities exhausting. Can you share with me some specific areas that are challenging for you or where you might need some help?”