Young Adults - Physical Illness
Find Accurate Information
Did you know that 6 out of 10 American adults have a chronic disease and that 4 in
10 have at least two chronic diseases (cdc.org)? When you are dealing with the physical illness of a loved one it is important to
know what the disease is and the likely symptoms that your loved one will exhibit.
It is important that you find good, accurate information about diseases from trusted
sources. Three excellent sources for general information are:
Consult with Physicians
Of course, these websites are designed to provide you with accurate scientific information
about diseases and health. They do NOT replace sharing your concerns with a doctor.
It is important that you don’t use these sites to diagnose your loved one – you are
not trained in making diagnoses and you may convince yourself that you or your loved
one has a terrible disease when he/she doesn't. Use the sites to learn more about
physical health issues and take this information with you when you visit the doctor
with your loved one. Use the information to write a list of questions that you need
answered so that you’ll be sure to get the information you need.
Once you have a diagnosis for your loved one, you will find that there are many organizations
that can help you and your family deal with the challenges facing you. For example,
people who are diagnosed with cancer can find excellent resources and support from
the American Cancer Society. Sometimes it is helpful to work with an agency that focuses on a specific health
condition. Many of these agencies offer support for family caregivers and in many
cases, offer that support in multiple languages. The American Cancer Society’s resource handbook for family caregivers is an excellent source of information for families dealing with a loved one's cancer.