The Wellness Wednesday livestream discusses how to communicate with your family about your health care needs
A weekly livestream focusing on wellness opportunities through the District 7 Regional Aging Agency (AAA7) is featured every Wednesday on the AAA7 Facebook page. âWell-being Wednesdaysâ are presented every week at 10:00 am with a new wellness topic to be discussed during the show.
Just as routines have changed during the pandemic, so have the wellness programs offered through AAA7. The Agency offers a number of useful and helpful programs designed to help people with chronic illnesses and other health conditions. Before the pandemic, AAA7 would have these classes in person, but has now moved them to classes by phone. Through âWellness Wednesdays,â the Agency is able to expand its reach to share information about valuable programs available to help with chronic disease self-management, diabetes self-management, chronic pain self-management, falls management and caregiver support. The aim is to increase knowledge about these programs and to help more and more people learn to live with their chronic diseases and / or adopt useful tips that can help people live healthier lives.
Recently, the topic of communicating with your family about your health care needs has been discussed. Communicating with family members about your health is just as important as communicating with your health care providers. Getting the support of your family and friends is a good tool to help you manage your overall health and deal with the stress that comes with living and managing chronic illness.
Sometimes communication can be difficult for a person and their family when it comes to health, especially when a person does not know how to share their diagnosis and how they may need help. In turn, family members may find it difficult to feel guilty that their loved one is suffering from the disease. Expressing these feelings on both sides can help communicate and understand each other.
Here are some steps to create good communication and build supportive relationships: show respect, be clear, don’t make assumptions, open up, listen first, accept other people’s feelings, use humor with caution and don’t play the victim. The livestream explained each of these milestones.
There were also good ways to communicate to express your feelings. Using an “I” message can help you share your views and feelings in a smoother way and it is best to use “you” messages which usually start with the word “you” and often suggest a blame. For example, âI like it when you turn the television down while we are talkingâ rather than saying âyou never pay attentionâ. Other examples of sentences starting with “I” messages include: “I notice” when stating the facts; âI thinkâ when you express your opinion; “I feel” when you share your feelings “; and “I want” when you say exactly what you would like the other person to do. âIâ messages can also be used to express positive feelings and compliments, for example: âI really appreciate the extra time you gave me todayâ.
Sometimes conflicts arise when communicating with family members. Both parties can become frustrated and emotional when trying to discuss the best options for treating / managing chronic disease. In addition to ‘I’ messages, other ways to help reduce conflict include: refocusing the discussion, asking for more time, making sure you understand the other person’s point of view, seeking compromise, ” excuse and forgive others.
Understanding when you need help and how to ask for it was also the focus of the conversation. Sometimes it can be difficult for someone to ask for help, but many are available and want to help those who need help. Specific requests are most likely to have the best answer. People like to be helpful and feel rejected when they can’t help you, especially if they care about you.
Listening was also discussed during the live broadcast as the most important communication skill. Here are some steps to improve listening: listen to tone of voice and observe body language, let the person know you heard it, and let the person you heard both its content and emotions know. .
Talking about your health with family members is a topic covered in AAA7 wellness classes, including chronic disease self-management, diabetes self-management, and chronic pain self-management. Currently, these courses are given by telephone. If you are interested in attending an upcoming course, call AAA7 at 1-800-582-7277 or email [email protected]
If you missed any of the episodes of âWellness Wednesday,â you can watch a recorded version on the AAA7 Facebook page or on the AAA7 website at www.aaa7.org.