When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, the drive to drop everything and help is normal, but cancer care is challenging, as is becoming a cancer caregiver. Cancer treatments and the side effects that can arise can be particularly tough for both the patients and those providing care, and feeling overwhelmed sometimes is common.
For loved ones providing cancer care, knowing and accepting personal limits, and realizing that reaching those limits does not equal failure, is key. Having a support system in place is part of caring for your loved one and yourself. Decide which tasks you will do on your own, and with which you will need help.
These caregiving tips from our Medford senior care team can help ensure success for both yourself and your loved one:
- Develop a support system. Enlist the help of family, friends, church members, neighbors, coworkers, etc. and know who you can go to when you need help with your loved one’s care. Often people are happy to help; they just need to be asked.
- Research respite care services. At home respite services, like those offered by All Care, provide experienced caregivers who can spend quality time with your loved one while you run errands or take some personal time away. The caregiver can provide assistance with meals, bathing, transportation to and from treatments, and other daily tasks as necessary.
- Contact a mental health professional or join a support group for help. It’s normal for caregivers to feel isolated or lonely at times. Discussing your feelings with a professional counselor or social worker can help ease worries. Also, joining a caregiver support group can help you connect with others who are experiencing similar situations and provide a safe place to express your feelings and receive support.
- Know your rights. If the company you work for has 50 or more employees and you’ve worked there for at least a year, you are probably offered unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide care for your loved one. Ask your company’s human resources department for help.
Providing care for a loved one who has cancer is a wonderful and selfless act, but it is important to remember to care for yourself in the process. All Care’s experienced Medford senior care team understands the specific challenges that cancer caregivers face. We can work with you to develop strategies for better managing whatever emotional or practical challenges you may go through. Contact us at (541) 857-9195 to learn more about our in-home care services.