Jeremy Ohara

Jeremy Ohara

Managing Chronic Illness at Home: Strategies for Long-Term Care

  Jan 17, 2024
Reviewed by Ravinder Kaur

Chronic Illness

Chronic illness is a term usually associated with conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes. However, some severe medical issues may last for a year or longer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It might also include bone diseases, mental health disorders, neurological ailments, high blood pressure, obesity, or others. 

The patient’s affliction may advance for their entire life, or make the progress unstable or slow.  They may or may not be life-threatening, but can cause pain or discomfort with the requirement of constant medical care. It also might result in limiting regular lifestyle activities for the sufferer, isolating them from their family members.  

While managing chronic conditions is a challenging situation, there are ways to lead a healthy and fulfilling life despite having a serious ailment. 

Here are some strategies that might help when managing a chronic illness.

Learn As Much As You Can About Your Condition

Knowledge is power, and empowering yourself is one of the most effective weapons you have against a chronic illness care in digital age

By understanding the ailment, you can make more informed choices about adapting your lifestyle to manage the symptoms, boost your health, and improve your quality of life. 

There are Self-management Education (SME) programs for a range of severe illnesses that can help sufferers alleviate the impact it has on their daily lives. 

These are especially relevant because sometimes the patient may not understand the complete recovery process. Not being able to administer at-home injections properly or forgetting to take medication may also deteriorate your health. 

Listening to calming music, spending time in nature, getting proper sleep on time, mindful breathing and guided meditation can help patients with chronic conditions to manage their fitness in a better way. 

Take Medication As Prescribed

Your doctor may prescribe medication, physiotherapy, surgery, or other treatment plans to manage your sickness, and it is significant that you follow all instructions carefully. This is particularly relevant if you are ongoing multiple medical treatments, as it can be dangerous to make errors. 

If you are still determining your medication plan or feel that it is not effective, speak to your physician as soon as possible. Technology has made it easier to consult your physician immediately through video calling especially for mental health treatment. Awareness is necessary in not ignoring minor changes that could negatively impact your health. 

You will likely be invited to regular checkups with your doctor, and you must attend all of them, even if you feel relatively healthy. Your condition may be affecting you in ways you are not aware of, or medication may not be working as intended. 

Monitor Your Own Health

Some disorders require close monitoring so you may need to test your health at home and can prevent chronic health conditions. For example, blood sugar testing or taking insulin injections regularly can be carried out at home. 

If you are doing a self-check of your health then it is pivotal to stick to your testing schedule and alert your doctor or a nurse about any changes in the medical results. Anytime you develop new symptoms or signs of infection, call your emergency services in extreme circumstances. 

Many people with serious illnesses hire care at home services which means professional carers will visit regularly to offer support and monitor their medical conditions. This will manage your fitness better and improve your quality of life. 

Embrace A Healthy Diet

It should not come as a surprise that part of managing a long-term ailment is leading a fit lifestyle with a nutritious and balanced diet. Having energy-boosting foods in the correct quantities will help you to function at your best and increase your chances of a longer and more comfortable life. 

Diet becomes necessary for certain disorders like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It becomes even more valuable when you are recommended to limit physical activity and take more rest. You might decide to discuss your ideal daily calorie intake with your doctor to ensure you are not overeating, which may lead to weight gain and health complications. 

The graph below shows that not just the elderly but many American adults are suffering from some type of chronic condition. 

This is due to living a stressful and busy lifestyle. When not treated, these issues start impacting the health severely which may be life-threatening. 

Percentage of American Adults Suffering from Different Types of Chronic Diseases

Include Physical Activity in Your Routine

While some people with chronic diseases may find physical exercise difficult, even a small amount of movement each day is better than none when managing your fitness. 

Maintaining good fitness is beneficial as it can help recover faster, improve sleep patterns, have easier weight management, greater mobility, enhanced strength, a stronger immune system, reduced pain, and even improved mental health. 

If your condition prevents you from some form of exercise, talk to your healthcare provider about possible alternative forms of physical activity that could be beneficial.  


The severity of any medical condition becomes stressful when it has long-term effects which takes a toll on the physical and mental health. However, by following the above-mentioned suggestions, one can be more careful in managing fitness at home. 

Asking for help or a healthcare worker will help ease the burden to a great extent along with regularly informing your doctor about any changes in your medical results. Low-impact physical activity like walking for a few steps and having a nutritious diet is key to a better recovery process.