Your aging relative has just been diagnosed with cancer and you’ve been pressed into service as a family caregiver. On top of being concerned about the older adult and what will happen, now you have to worry about what being a family caregiver will mean for your life. What will you be expected to do? How can you take the best possible care of the senior? There is certainly a lot to learn. Knowing some of what cancer caregivers do can make you feel better about getting started. Below are just a few of the things you can expect to be doing as you begin your journey as a caregiver to a loved one with cancer.
Be Part of a Team
Family caregivers are an important part of the cancer care team. They work with health care providers to make sure the senior has the things they need and is able to follow the treatment plan. Caregivers also ensure that the older adult gets to their medical appointments by offering them rides. They also allow the senior to be part of the team by advocating for them with health care providers, so their voice is heard, and their wishes are followed.
Take Care of Nutritional Needs
It may be hard for your aging relative to do their own grocery shopping during treatment and recovery. Family caregivers often do the shopping. They may cook meals, too, since the smell of cooking can trigger side effects like nausea. It’s important for family caregivers to talk to the doctor and other members of the cancer team about what they can do to make sure the senior gets enough nutrition when they do not feel like eating or have side effects that impact their ability to eat.
Offer Emotional Support
Being diagnosed with cancer brings up a lot of difficult emotions. Your older family member is likely to feel sad, angry, and frightened during the course of their treatment. Family caregivers often find themselves offering emotional support and being the person the senior can talk to about how they are feeling.
Arranging for Care
It typically takes more than one family caregiver to provide all the care an older adult with cancer needs. As a family caregiver, it may be your job to keep track of who will be with the senior and when. Many family caregivers do this by keeping a care calendar that shows who is responsible for the times when the senior needs care. In addition to making certain family caregivers are available when needed, you might also be responsible for arranging for professional caregiving services through a home care agency.
If you or someone you know needs hiring Home Care in Rochester, MN, contact Adara Home Health Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.
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