At times, life with PAP can be challenging for the one who is ill, but also for you as a relative. If you and your relative tell your family and friends about your relative’s condition and how it affects your life, they may be able to help you and relieve you of some of your burdens. People often want to feel useful. Be clear about how they can help and don’t be ashamed to ask for help or favors, such as cooking a meal or helping with the school carpool, etc.
If there are children in the picture, it is also important to talk to them. Although their understanding of the situation may be limited, children still appreciate being told what is going on around them. Children can sometimes view themselves as the cause of problems or major events that happen around them, and they may view a parent’s illness as being caused by something they did.
Children whose parents are diagnosed with serious diseases almost always struggle with two questions: “Is it my fault?” and “Is my Mum/Dad going to die?” Talk to them and let them know that it is always okay to ask questions. This will help relieve some of their anxiety. Remember to take into consideration the age of the child and adjust your communication to it.