Coping with Illness and Incapacity
An article by physicians at the Cleveland Clinic reports that as of 2014, 80% of elders have at least one chronic illness. Such individuals and their family members often face a variety of challenges, and can use help in dealing with and coping with such illness. To quote the authors:
“Many factors, in addition to the burden caused by the illness, influence coping. These include the patient’s age, ethnic background, financial status, cultural values, gender, diagnosis, support systems, prior experiences, understanding of illness, and personality traits. Other important factors specifically related to the illness have being identified such as severity of the illness, disability caused by the illness, unpredictability of relapses, impact on cognition or activities of daily living. Also previous coping skills certainly impact how patients react under the stress of chronic illness. Rumination is also recognized as a key factor increasing the probability of anxiety in patients with chronic illness. …… Having strong support systems enhances resilience and widens access to coping strategies. Access to community agencies, family, and friends eases the burden of coping with chronic illness, as do prayer and strong religious faith.”
In this section we offer some information and resources to help individuals and family members dealing with such issues, as well as with the loss of loved ones.