A loved one who is diagnosed with cancer is involved in a treatment regime that can be taxing and challenging. Having someone to rely on for physical, medical and emotional needs is critical to a positive outcome and a sense of well being. If you are caring for a cancer patient at home, you will need to attend to a number of different issues regarding their care. Here are some tips on how to provide the greatest amount of help for your loved one.
Provide Help With Daily Living Tasks
For some individuals, the demands of the illness and side effects from treatment can be so debilitating that simple daily tasks such as dressing, grooming, cooking or doing laundry can be too taxing. Help with these activities, either from you or from a home health aide, can increase both physical and mental well being.
Ensure That Medical Needs Are Met
Providing the right care for your loved one may mean ensuring the delivery of oxygen, administration of medications or other measures to support their treatment or make them more comfortable. Make sure you understand your part in helping to serve your loved one needs. Ask questions and take notes. Keep contact numbers on hand. You can find a wide range of homecare equipment available through companies such as Joerns Healthcare to optimize comfort and effective care.
Encourage Self-Affirming Activities
You can provide a supportive environment for your loved one by encouraging them to think about their lives in positive terms and expressing their feelings through art, journaling and other activities. This measure can help divert your loved one’s attention from their illness to other aspects of their lives.
Get to Know the Loved One’s Care Team
A good relationship with your loved one’s care team can help you to provide the highest quality care. You will understand the areas of expertise for each of the members of the team and will be able to report any changes in symptoms or general condition. Knowing the team will also make it easier to get answers to your questions.
Be a Good Listener and Communicator
Often, a cancer patient will have many concerns and worries that they are reluctant to voice. If you encourage your loved one to speak freely about how they are feeling and what they are thinking, you will become an important sounding board to help them cope. Communicating clearly and honestly will also help your loved one to manage their illness more effectively.
Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Constant caregiving can become an emotional strain. That’s why health experts recommend taking time for yourself, getting out with friends or engaging in hobbies you enjoy. These breaks can help to refresh your spirit, so you can continue to provide care for your loved one.
Caring for someone with cancer is both a duty and a privilege. If you follow these tips, you will find the task easier and more rewarding.