Caregivers play a vital role in the well-being of a mesothelioma cancer patient. The role is critically important.
The medical staff will determine the course of treatment, but the primary caregiver is the one who determines just how that patient lives. The role can be richly rewarding, but it also can be overwhelming at times for the caregiver.
To the patient, it can make a huge difference.
The role may start with the simplest of everyday tasks, but it can expand quickly and become much more difficult if the cancer progresses. For someone without a nursing background, the responsibility of caregiving can seem immense.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
5 Tips on How a Caregiver Can Help
Whether it’s providing emotional support, helping around the house or guiding your loved one in making positive decisions, caregivers are an immense resource for cancer patients.
Provide emotional support
A cancer patient can have ups and downs regardless of cancer stage. There will be good days and bad days, and a caregiver must remain a steadying force. Simple companionship can be critical to the well-being of a cancer patient. Being a good listener can be very helpful.
Help make decisions
A cancer patient will need help sorting out treatment options, medications, health insurance and legal issues. Financial decisions must be made, too. Eventually, end-of-life care must be discussed and decided upon.
Perform everyday chores
Simple tasks like cleaning a home and cooking a meal may become too difficult for a cancer patient. Walking the dog, driving to the grocery store and taking out the trash could become part of a caregiver’s role. Things that were once taken for granted may be out of reach for the patient.
Monitor a patient’s health
A caregiver often is the one expected to manage a patient’s appointment schedule, report changing health conditions and manage medications at home. A caregiver should provide details to the medical team that a patient or doctor may miss.
Take care of yourself
The better caregivers feel about themselves, the better care they will provide. This can be an overwhelming job, but try to manage it as best as you can. A caregiver will need help to avoid breaking down mentally and physically. Don’t try and do it alone. Ask and accept help from family and friends. Join a support group, talk to other caregivers about similar issues. Go for a walk, eat properly and take time away when you can.