Watching a loved one suffer from chronic pain can be overwhelming – how do you help someone who is suffering from pain day in and day out? Family members may act out their frustration by blaming their loved one: “How bad can it be? You can’t even get out of bed?” In either case, the pain sufferer is not helped, and the family member is left feeling exhausted, guilty, and stressed out, without resources, direction, or support for his or her difficult role. The Las Vegas Recovery Center’s (LVRC) Family Renewal Program is designed to address these issues, providing the support and education family members need.

Family Dynamics Addressed at LVRC

Families are often so busy dealing with their suffering loved ones that they are unaware of their own needs. Caregiving can be a physically depleting role, and caregivers are frequently found to be more depressed than those they are caring for. It’s critical that family members of those suffering from chronic pain take care of themselves, and the Family Renewal Program is one way to accomplish that important task. Focusing on the psychological and emotional health of the family is good for the family, and it’s good for the family’s loved one. The LVRC Family Renewal Program educates family members about the clinical aspects of chronic pain, from the difference between acute and chronic pain to what influences pain and how its intensity can be reduced. The program helps participants cope with the family dynamics involved in chronic pain, showing them how to change their role from caretaker to healthy support team member, how to set boundaries, and how to be nurturing and supportive rather than enabling. Family members also learn what to expect when their loved one leaves treatment and how to live with chronic pain in the long-term.

Family Renewal Program Teaches Value of Self-Care

When it comes to chronic pain, the focus is usually on the pain sufferer, not on the family or the family member. The Family Renewal Program provides a time for families to focus on their own future and health, to bring the family back into balance, and in so doing, provide effective support for those they love. Peer support, educational sessions, and counseling give family members a way to participate in pain recovery with their loved one while maintaining their own health and well-being. Family members will learn how to organize their time to include self-care, how to detect signs of depression and get professional help when needed, and how to value themselves and the demanding job of caregiver. By finding a balance between compassion for themselves and for those they are caring for, family members and their loved ones can thrive.