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Care and Support for Hepatitis C

It doesn’t seem possible to talk about one without the other. Care, in this context, is more than caring about someone, and if you are providing care, you are also offering support. Both terms take on a full range of meanings, with some thinking of the traditional caregiver and their role.

There are a range of professional caregivers out there

There are professionals who provide care, as in healthcare professionals to include doctors, nurses, counselors, and others who are graduates of degree programs specific to their field. There are people trained to provide care for the temporarily or permanently disabled, the elderly, and others who need help. These people are not normally present 24/7 and although their help can be vital, it is not typically as intensive as traditional care providers such as close family, spouse, partner, or very close friend might provide. In the absence of traditional care, they can be essential.

You may be one of the people who has needed regular care at home and being at home is where most of us prefer to be. I know I do. Being at home is less stressful, and familiar surroundings usually provide us with a feeling of more control and independence–which are huge in healing and for general wellbeing. Having a disability does not mean you can’t lead a fully independent life, with no need for a caregiver of any type.

Support can come from many places and in many shapes

Support comes in many forms, and some will suggest there is no difference to caregiving and they would be right, in some ways. Support can take the form of what we often call moral support. What that looks like varies widely and could be a friend who calls or casually checks-in on you, or it can be more formalized. It can be a person you call or calls you on a helpline, or in a social media platform or web site forum.

The family has been the traditional place we look to for support, along with our network of friends or work colleagues. In the era of cyberspace, it often stretches much wider. Your needs shapes the care you receive. Care can mean helping with grocery shopping or a ride, or company when going to a medical appointment, or any number of things. For people with hepatitis C, Help-4-Hep is a peer counseling line.

There is no one kind of care or support that works for everyone, and as the receiver of care and support, you have an important part to play in deciding what works for you. This is considered “patient-centered care”. If you feel as though you are forced in one direction or another, advocacy may be helpful. We all need help from time to time. If you need care or support, seek it out. If it doesn’t work out, seek out something different. When we are in a position of need we need what works for us, most importantly.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.