When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, it’s seems only natural to drop everything and be on hand to do whatever it takes to help that person. Caring for someone with cancer, however, can quickly become overwhelming. Treatment for cancer and the resulting side effects can be especially tough on both the person with cancer and his or her loved ones, and can lead to the need for a more intense level of care than expected.
As a family caregiver, it’s crucial to be aware of and accept your own limitations, and that reaching your limit is not in any way an indication of failure. It’s incredibly important to have a support system in place that allows you to take care of both your loved one and yourself. Decide which tasks you want to do for your loved one yourself, and which ones you need some help with.
The following caregiving tips, courtesy of Caregivers by WholeCare, can help ease care concerns for you, and allow for a higher quality of care for your loved one:
- Create a strong support system. Enlist the assistance of family, friends, members of your faith community, coworkers, neighbors, etc. and determine who is available to help with your loved one’s care. Often people are very willing to help; they simply need to be asked.
- Find respite care. Respite care services, such as Caregivers by WholeCare offers, provides experienced caregivers to spend quality time with your loved one, allowing you to run errands or take some personal time away to rest and recharge. A caregiver can help with feeding, bathing, housework, transportation to and from treatments, or other daily routines as needed.
- When worries arise, address them. Providing care for a loved one can often result in feelings of isolation and loneliness. Talking with a counselor or social worker can provide relief from worries. Joining a caregiver support group can also help you connect with others in similar situations and provide a safe place to share your feelings and receive much-needed support.
- Be aware of your rights. If the company you work for has at least 50 employees and you’ve been working there for at least a year, and worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act should be available to you to provide care for your loved one. Ask your company’s HR department for more information.
Providing care for a loved one battling cancer is a wonderful and selfless act, but it’s equally important to take care of yourself in the process. Caregivers by WholeCare’s fully trained Nashville home care services team understands the unique challenges that cancer caregivers face. We can partner with you to develop strategies for coping with any emotional or practical challenges you’re facing. Contact us at (615) 997-1288 for a free in-home consultation to allow us to answer any questions you may have.