Living with Chronic Pain
Supporting a Loved One With Chronic Pain Who Must Move Back Home
Adults living independently while experiencing chronic pain may discover the need to move back in with their parents or family. This may occur for various reasons, including needing help to physically care for themselves, being unable to maintain steady employment, or having to decrease expenses due to medical bills.
Challenges of moving in with loved ones
No matter how necessary the move is, it comes with challenges. Most adults that must move back in with their parents or family feel as if they are losing their independence and are a burden. They may feel judged by others who are successfully progressing in life. Financial stability might become non-existent due to chronic pain, resulting in uncertainty of the future. They also miss their previous life without chronic pain and the activities they once enjoyed.
How to provide support when a loved one with chronic pain moves back home
Helping a loved one reevaluate their current situation may provide a positive outlook for their future. Gentle reminders that they are blessed with family support and a home during difficult times can be comforting. Encouragement to embrace extra family time and the pleasure that family can provide may improve their perspective.
Anguish and heartache frequently occur when leaving friends and acquaintances, especially when moving a long distance. Support the loved one in their new location by asking them to go for a walk when they are able, scheduling a regular date for coffee, or introducing them to friends and neighbors in the area. Participating in social activities improves mental and physical well-being. It also provides time for the loved one and their family members to be apart from each other, which is important for people who have not lived together in a while.
Support when setting boundaries
Support a loved one in setting boundaries and expectations with their parents or other family members that are different from the previous expectations. For example, while they may no longer have a curfew, it is appropriate to text when they are arriving home late to avoid causing worry. While chronic pain may prevent them from doing certain chores, they should keep their own space as clean as possible and help out when they are able. An open-door policy may have existed as a child; however, setting boundaries that a closed door means a need for privacy is beneficial.
Though moving back home due to a health condition or related concerns can be a challenge, it can also be a wonderful opportunity for a loved one with chronic pain to rest and recover physically, emotionally and financially. It can also provide family members quality time together that may have otherwise been missed.
Additional sources: SpoonieHacker and BuzzFeed News