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8 Caregiving Ideas to Help Cancer Patients


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1. About 3,400 people are diagnosed with cancer each day in the United States, and many must still cope with the demands of daily life while treating their illness. If you're wondering what you can do to help a friend or relative who has become a cancer patient, there are many ways to lend a hand. These suggestions for providing medical, emotional, and practical support can ease a loved one's burden and show you care.

2. Cancer Caregiving: Running Errands

Cancer patients need to conserve their strength, and daily life contains so many chores that must be done. You can help out by shouldering some of your loved one's daily responsibilities: Walk her dog, refill her prescriptions, or pick up her kids after school. When you buy your groceries, offer to do her shopping as well. Suggest making phone calls for her or setting up an online page if she's overwhelmed by people concerned about her cancer condition.

3. Going to Doctor Appointments

Just volunteering to drive someone to the doctor’s office is helpful, but it's always good to have a second set of eyes and ears at doctor visits. You can provide invaluable caregiving assistance by accompanying your loved one to these appointments. Before the visit, write down all of his questions and concerns to discuss with the doctor, and while you are there make sure all of them are addressed. Take detailed notes so you have an accurate record of what was said, including any specific directions or recommendations.

4. Cancer Caregiving: Helping Hands

There are tons of chores you can help out with around your loved one’s home to help her conserve her strength. Do a load of laundry. Cook a nutritious meal, then wash the pots and pans. Run a vacuum cleaner and dust. Take out the garbage. Mow the lawn, rake up fallen leaves, or clean up the backyard. Of course, you can’t provide all this cancer care by yourself, but you can marshal other friends and family members to help, possibly creating a schedule to divide the tasks.

5. Cancer Caregiving: Lending an Ear

Some of the best caregiving you can provide involves just sitting and listening to your loved one. That's not as simple as it sounds. Let him open up about his emotions, fears, and concerns, but try not to automatically interject reassuring words or dole out advice. If you do that, you might interrupt his thought process or cause him to shut down. The best encouragement comes from reminding him of his special qualities or of other challenges he has bested. Rather than offer advice, discuss choices and allow the cancer patient to talk them through to reach the best decision.

6. Cancer Caregiving: Bookkeeping Services

Cancer is an expensive disease to treat, and an exhausting stack of bills will grow over time. You can help by organizing these bills and figuring out what is due when. You also can review the patient’s health insurance and make sure that she is getting all of the coverage she is entitled to. If she is behind on payments, you might call hospital administrators on her behalf to work out a payment plan. You also can help your loved one apply for financial assistance.

7. Cancer Caregiving: Keeping Up Morale

Cancer patients can feel isolated and lonely. They also can become run-down by a constant trickle of visitors coming to their door. You can help by coordinating visits of groups of friends or family, so the patient can remain connected without becoming overwhelmed. You also can arrange for people to write cards and letters of support or send flowers.

8. Cancer Caregiving: Getting Educated

You can provide a lot of help to a cancer patient just by using your brain — and the Internet. Research the type of cancer she has, learning as much as you can so you can help answer questions and provide information when it's time to make crucial decisions. You also can learn about the medications that have been prescribed and help keep track of the dosing schedule.

9. Cancer Caregiving: Finding More Support

There are many forms of emotional support out there for cancer patients, but your loved one may not know about them. Ask hospital social workers about cancer support groups in the area, or look for online support. If more help is needed, suggest an oncology social worker or counselor to help the patient cope with feelings and emotions. You may not personally be able to provide all the assistance the cancer patient needs, but you can help find additional resources.

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What tips would you tell a new Caregiver?

http://www.everydayhealth.com/cancer/ph ... x#/slide-8

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  • 1 year later...

Thanks for sharing :-P  :-P


Patients and caregivers alike report feeling a loss of control after a cancer diagnosis. Maintaining a balance between your loved one’s disease and the daily activities of your own life can be a challenge. It may be helpful to identify the parts of your life.

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