Cancer Care Tips for Family Caregivers

Caring for someone who is living with cancer at home is physically and emotionally taxing. Caregivers juggling family commitments, work responsibilities, and caregiving activities often experience overwhelming emotions, including guilt and resentment.

It’s important to find balance and peace.

Here, we’ve collected some of our most important caregiving tips for family members of newly diagnosed cancer patients or families providing long-term in-home care.

Caring for a Loved One with Cancer: Tips for Family and Friends

Everyone deals with caregiving differently. Depending on your schedule, your work and living situation, as well as your relationship with the cancer patient, you may feel stressed from a lack of balance between personal and professional responsibilities.

You may find not all these tips serve you, but they could help you find more ways to cope.

1. Make a list of caregiving responsibilities.

Create a comprehensive list of daily, weekly, and monthly caregiving duties and build a calendar. Centralizing the most important responsibilities will help you prioritize your time and attention. It’s also a great way to delegate certain tasks to friends and family members who are willing to get involved.

2. Include your loved one in planning.

Someone who has cancer often wants to be included in important decisions and coordinating care. Empower your loved one to get involved with daily communications between care providers. Consider recording communications, appointments, and changes to routines with a shared digital calendar or task list so everyone stays on the same page.

3. Do what you do best.

Give yourself an honest assessment of what you do well, what you enjoy doing, and what you’d rather hand off to friends or professionals. Don’t feel guilty about avoiding bathing or hygiene tasks. Focusing on the tasks you enjoy reduces the risk of caregiver burnout and helps maintain your relationship when it matters most.

4. Be positive.

Easier said than done, but your outlook will impact the quality of care and your resilience. Make a point of starting and ending each interaction with your loved one with a simple statement of gratitude or positivity, even if it’s just noting how happy you are to see them.

5. Make time for normality.

There will never be “enough” time in the day for a quiet moment, a cup of coffee, or a long conversation. Remember that this person has as many worries and anxieties as you. Create time and space to leave cancer care and treatment at the door and focus on happy memories, the news, or a topic you both enjoy. Taking care of someone with cancer can dominate daily life, which makes putting it aside for a little while a relief for everyone.

6. Ask for – and accept – help.

Friends may not know how to support someone with cancer in the family. They may feel uncomfortable offering to pitch in. Ask friends and family members to get involved early with tasks they do feel comfortable with. Providing care for someone with cancer truly is a team effort, so build your roster from the very beginning.

Read more: Understanding Your Home Care Options

Face Cancer Patient Home Care Head-on with Expert Support

Caring for a loved one with cancer is a difficult but rewarding journey. Despite the hardships, providing care is a noble and valued thing, but you don’t need to face it alone.

Our trained, professional caregivers provide flexible support to address changing needs and conditions. Get the support you need: find the Homewatch CareGivers location nearest you or call 888-404-5191 today.

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