The term critical illness is defined as a life-threatening condition that requires pharmacological and/or mechanical support of vital organ functions.
Critical illnesses can have a devastating effect on your family, for a whole host of reasons.
The first is that, if you or another member of your family were to become seriously ill, every other person within your close circle of family and friends will be emotionally shattered by the news. Your perspective will instantly change, from planning for a long future as a family to coming to terms with the very real possibility that one of you may not be around forever, or at least not in the capacity you know and love.
This uncertainty can breed severe anxiety, worry and even anger, as you mourn an event that may not even come to pass. As a result, your family morale can plummet, leaving you without closure and feeling helpless in the face of the illness.
Furthermore, if you or your spouse were to fall critically ill, then some (if not all) of your family income will dry up overnight. This can cause serious monetary problems, making it difficult to pay bills, put food on the table and put a roof over your heads.
These are the repercussions of critical illnesses on your family:
Make sure you are covered financially
One of the most problematic repercussions of suffering a critical illness within your family is the financial damage it can cause.
If you or your partner were to be rendered unable to work (potentially ever again), then you will suddenly be left with far less money to go around. Once your initial savings have been burned through, you may find life very difficult to manage.
There are a number of insurers that offer critical illness cover which could ease the financial burden. Financial worries should be the last issue on your mind when you and your family are enduring such a painful experience. If you are unsure as to what type of insurance is best for you and your family, it is worth speaking to an independent life insurance specialist.
Be prepared for a heavy emotional toll
Unfortunately, suffering from a critical illness within the confines of a family can be extremely emotionally draining. In such an intimate and loving setting, when someone’s life is in danger and it is relatively little you can do to help them, it can be distressing and frustrating in equal measure.
If you are a parent, then you should take it upon yourself to try and distract from the seriousness of the illness by regularly bonding with your children, striving to continue as normal for as long as possible, and simply spending time together. Remember that they will still want to see their friends and that shouldn’t be neglected. Very Well Family discusses the importance of creating one-on-one time with your children and the best way to do so.
In such an unsettled environment, all you will want to do is release the tension, reassure each other that there is some level of comfort to cling to and keep a channel of communication open.
Plan for all eventualities
Critical illnesses carry with them the very real risk that the patient will not be around forever. This brings with it a horrible uncertainty about what the future might hold, whether they will recover or deteriorate, without there being anything you can do about it.
You should therefore prepare for all eventualities, as tragic as they may be. Whether this means you must start reorganizing legal documents, starting new family routines or helping your children adjust to their new reality, it is important to face every scenario with the seriousness it deserves.