Coping When a Family Member is Unwell

disbled child
Disabled girl sitting in wheelchair. On her legs orthosis. Child cerebral palsy. Inclusion. Family with disabled kid.

When we are living with and looking after a family member who is unwell, it can be difficult for us. We should turn to our religion and our Lord to seek help so that we can manage the situation properly. We must ensure that the mindset we have is one which looks at this life for what it really is – temporary and a test.

We may see the person who is unwell and be naturally upset by their suffering, but we should remember that they will be rewarded for their struggles. We read in a hadith:

“How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” (Muslim)

We may have to prepare food for them and possibly have to feed them too. Perhaps there are now more house chores to do because they are unwell. We must remind ourselves that Allah will reward us for taking good care of them. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“Those who show mercy will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Show mercy to those who are on earth and the One Who is in heaven will show mercy to you.” (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)

Sadness is an emotion which can take over our hearts, whether it is because we are struggling ourselves or because we are saddened by seeing the family member suffer. We should keep in mind that we are rewarded for our hardships. Allah told us in the Holy Qur’an:

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” (Qur’an 2:155)

Waiting for situations like this to pass can prove to be challenging. Perhaps we have been told by a doctor that the family member will be unwell for a period of time. We must look to our religion’s teachings about patience. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

“Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.” (Qur’an 39:10)

It is not strange to feel tired during times like this. We probably end up feeling mentally and physically exhausted. We should try to keep in mind the things that we have and be grateful. We are being tested in terms of our gratitude too. Allah tells us in the Holy Qur’an:

“If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour].” (Qur’an 14:7)

We might find that we have less time to do our own work than before, but we should try to make an effort to look at the positive side of things. Perhaps now we feel like making du’aa more than we normally would, so the situation also serves as a reminder to us to prioritise prayer and worship. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“When Allah desires good for someone, He tries him with hardships.” (Bukhari)