When a loved one receives a cancer diagnosis, it might feel as though your whole world has changed. That which was once a top priority pales compared to the need to do whatever you can to assist the individual you love through this unexpected experience.
If you are uncertain where you should start in your role as a cancer care provider, our in-home care team is here to assist. Take a deep breath, settle in with a cup of tea, and review the recommendations below.
What Will Your Loved One with Cancer Need?
Quite often, cancer treatments are delivered in outpatient settings as opposed to during a hospitalization. Because of this, transportation to and from appointments is a very important facet of cancer care. Additionally, the individual will probably require:
- Assistance with symptom control. Chemo and other cancer treatments, in addition to the cancer itself, often cause nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, exhaustion, changes in appetite, pain, and more. You can provide support by making certain the person stays hydrated, communicating with the physician about any worries and implementing suggestions, and preparing light, healthy meals based on his / her tolerance level and preferences.
- Help around the house. Having help with housekeeping, laundry, yardwork, grocery shopping and other errands is quite often a great relief for someone fighting cancer.
- A healthcare liaison. Keeping tabs on all of the medical facets of cancer care is often complicated. Ask if the person would like you to be there for doctors’ appointments to take down notes, ask questions, relay information back to the medical team, etc.
- Someone to listen. Oftentimes, people tend to shy away from tough conversations. For somebody with cancer, having a person there to listen to the challenges being faced, fears for the future, and whatever else that comes to mind is very important. Your caring, non-judgmental presence may be the most important gift you have to offer.
What Will YOU Need?
Taking care of yourself is crucial while caring for someone with cancer to alleviate stress and avoid caregiver burnout and depression. Be sure to specify ongoing, scheduled times away for activities that are soothing: reading, taking a walk, soaking in a warm bath, engaging in hobbies you love, etc.
You’ll also need an outlet for the emotions that come up during caregiving. Find a professional counselor to meet with or a trusted friend, family member, or clergy member to talk to, write in a journal, or join a support group for cancer caregivers.
If you’re having trouble finding time to look after yourself, let Anthem Home Care help. Our care providers are fully trained and experienced in caring for individuals with cancer as well as other chronic health issues, and are available for as much or as little time as you need to step in while you step away.
Contact us at 361-643-2323 any time for additional cancer care information or to make arrangements for a no-cost in-home consultation to learn more about our respite care in Portland and the surrounding areas. Visit our Service Area page for more information about the communities where we provide care.