by Erin Thigpen
Being a caregiver can be a physically and emotionally demanding task, since you go through the ups and downs with your loved one as they battle cancer. The LIVESTRONG Foundation has many resources for caregivers, including articles, interviews and more. Here are a few ways to make your job as a caregiver a little less stressful:
5 Tips for Caregiver Support
1. Be prepared - When dealing with the uncertainties that surround a cancer diagnosis, it helps to be prepared for what’s to come. Learn what to expect from your loved one’s diagnosis and treatment, and get the basics on home health care if you’re caring for a loved one at home.
2. Stay organized - Chances are you might need to advocate for your loved one during oncology visits or when dealing with practical matters like finances and paperwork. The LIVESTRONG Guidebook can help you find and organize information and documents; keep it in a tote bag with other handy items, like a blanket, sweater, water bottle and magazines so you’re always ready.
3. Communicate – Talking to your loved one about their cancer might not be easy, but good communication can help enrich and strengthen your relationship as well as help you make sure your loved one is getting the treatment and support they need. Learn about effective communication and seek out counseling if needed.
4. Take shifts - Caregivers often take care of themselves last. If you’re feeling worn out, don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends, family or even a health care professional for help—just remember to go over vital information with your sub first, like the schedule, proper dosage for medications and a list of emergency contacts.
5. Get support - LIVESTRONG provides emotional support services to anybody who might be affected by a cancer diagnosis—patients, caregivers and loved ones alike. Learn how we helped Ana, a caregiver who reached out to LIVESTRONG and found support for herself, her son and her father during his battle with lung cancer.
Contact a LIVESTRONG Navigator today for one-on-one support by calling 1-855-220-7777 or by filling out our Online Intake Form.