Leaders at the Lupus Foundation of America recently developed a document, called "How to Help: A Communication Tool," that will help lupus patients as well as their families and friends better communicate about the kind of help that patients need.
It is important to support people who are ill, but it can be challenging to know the kind of support that they need the most. Strong support systems don’t just offer help; they know the kind of help that someone needs. There are three main types of support.
The first is instrumental support, which offers tangible services or help. This includes going grocery shopping, helping someone with child care or mowing one's lawn.
The second is emotional support. This means showing love, empathy, caring and trust. It is important listen to people who are suffering from health conditions. They need someone to offer them hope on a bad day.
The third is informational support, which includes offering advice, helpful information or suggestions. This could mean offering a newly diagnosed lupus patient with ideas for joining local communities that would be encouraging.
With "How to Help: A Communication Tool," it will be easier for friends and families to find out what specific ways lupus patients need support from their loved ones.