Tips from Hired Hands Homecare to Ease Cancer Caregiving
When someone you love has cancer, it’s natural to want to drop everything and help that person, but taking on the role of a caregiver is not without challenges. Cancer treatments and the resulting side effects can be especially difficult for both the patients themselves and their loved ones, and sometimes caregivers may feel overwhelmed.
As a caregiver, it’s crucial to know and accept your own limits, and to know that reaching those limits does not mean that you have failed. Having a support system in place is an important part of taking care of your loved one and yourself. Determine which tasks you will do yourself, and which ones you will need help with.
Try these tips, courtesy of Hired Hands Homecare, to help set yourself up for success as a caregiver:
- Build your support system. Talk to friends, family members, members of your faith community, neighbors, coworkers, etc. and find out who you can go to when you need assistance with your loved one’s care. Often people are happy to help; they just need to be asked.
- Research respite care services in your area. Respite care services, like those provided by professional home care agencies such as Hired Hands Homecare, provide you with a fully trained, compassionate caregiver who can spend time with and care for your loved one while you run errands or take some personal time away. He or she can help with meal planning and preparation, bathing, transportation to and from treatments, or other daily routines as necessary.
- If you feel overwhelmed, contact a mental health professional or join a support group for help. Caregiving can sometimes result in feelings of isolation or loneliness. Speaking with a counselor or oncology social worker can help you cope with your worries. Also, joining a caregiver support group can help you connect with others who are experiencing similar situations and provide a safe place to express your feelings and receive support.
- Know your rights. If you work for a company with at least 50 employees, and have worked there for at least one year, look into the option of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide care for your loved one. Ask your company’s human resources department for help.
Becoming a caregiver to a loved one who has cancer is a wonderful and selfless act, but it is important to remember to take care of yourself in the process. Hired Hands Homecare’s professionally trained California caregiving staff understands the unique challenges that cancer caregivers face. We can work with you to develop strategies for better managing whatever emotional or practical challenges you may go through. Contact us at 866-940-4343 to learn more about our in-home care services.