Support for the Support Network
If you live with someone or have a close relationship with a person diagnosed with a headache condition, understanding what he or she is feeling can be hard, and sometimes recognizing all the ways it affects him or her can be difficult. Caregivers need all the help they can get, so educate yourself and create a strong support system.
The Diamond Headache Clinic offers support for headache caregivers. There are things you can do to help your loved one avoid headache triggers, treat an existing headache, and cope with the frustration and other negative feelings he or she may have when trying to find a balance between real life and the headache condition.
Getting expert treatment is a critical first step in coping with headache. When you choose the Diamond Headache Clinic, the top private headache clinic in the U.S., you can rest assured that your loved one or client will receive diagnosis, treatment and after-care that are second to none.
Expect your loved one to undergo a thorough examination that includes a complete analysis of his or her medical history, lifestyle and current situation. This lengthy diagnostic session occurs during the first visit and is the key to understanding the headache condition.
Doctors may recommend an inpatient treatment for acute headache conditions, so prepare your loved one for the possibility that we may recommend hospitalization for up to 10 days to stabilize his or her condition. After that, he or she will participate in outpatient treatment at our clinic on the near-north side of Chicago.
As a caregiver, you play an integral role in the overall success of our approach. As a key influence in the patient’s life, you will be called upon frequently to listen and even answer important questions. The following actions will assist you in providing headache and migraine caregiver support.
- Talk to your loved one or client about treatment specifics. Listen for positive and negative feedback, and encourage the patient to share his or her satisfaction or concerns with the doctors.
- Strongly encourage your loved one or client to participate in the treatment. If he or she is receiving acute treatment through our inpatient unit, encourage active participation in discussions and one-on-one treatment sessions throughout the stay.
- Make sure you understand the treatment plan as clearly as your loved one or client so you can help him or her to properly complete its steps.
Once a treatment plan has been executed, the patient’s condition is stabilized and he or she has moved forward to our after-care program, your role becomes more important then ever. The following suggestions can help you to assist the patient in keeping his or her condition under control.
- Educate yourself about the specific headache condition. Don’t hesitate to ask us for detailed explanations about medical terms, diagnosis, medications and treatments that you may not fully understand.
- Learn the triggers for the headache and help your loved one or client to recognize and avoid those triggers.
- Be a role model. The after-care program includes proper diet, regular exercise and specific relaxation techniques, all of which you can do, too.
- Understand that as with any chronic disorder, our goal is effective treatment that restores the sufferer to normal function.
Caregivers: Take Care of Yourself
We understand how incredibly difficult caring for an ailing parent, child, spouse or other loved one is. Chances are, you aren’t trained in caretaking, but you strive to provide the best care possible. It’s hard work and you can get so overwhelmed that you lose sight of your own wants and needs, which isn’t beneficial for anyone. The following recommendations offer headache and migraine caregiver support to help you while you help your loved one.
- Accept your feelings. You may feel anxiety, anger or resentment. Find other caregivers so you can share your feelings and know that you are not alone.
- Encourage your loved one to be as independent as possible. Don’t do things for the patient that he can do for himself.
- Know and try not to exceed your limits. Getting burned out is not helpful for anyone. Ask family and friends for help; requesting assistance with specific tasks makes helping you easier for them.
- Don’t neglect your own emotional needs. Relax daily, talk with others, keep a journal, keep up with social activities as much as possible and give yourself a break at least once a week.
- Remember to take care of your physical needs as well, by eating healthy, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.
- Take advantage of community resources, including caregiver services in your area, religious organizations, adult day care if applicable and whatever else is available.