It’s always hard to watch a loved one suffer, especially when you know that at the end of that, you might lose them. But it’s harder still for a loved one to go through something like cancer, especially in their old age, without the support of their friends and family. Caring for an older loved one with cancer is a wonderful and painful thing, but don’t forget that you as the caregiver don’t have to do it alone. Here are our tips for caring for an older friend or family member who has cancer.
Make Use of the Whole Caregiving System
The truth is that while you may be the main caregiver, you are not the only one caring for this loved one. There’s also their healthcare professionals, volunteers, and other friends or family members. Consider what your role is in this: do you help them take their medicine, get them groceries, make sure they make their doctors’ appointments? Of course, you have your own life to attend to, as well. Caregiving will feel less overwhelming if you can reach out to other friends and family members to help out with some of the tasks, and it will be less scary in its uncertainty if you stay in regular contact with your loved one’s health professionals.
Prioritize Your Caregiving Tasks
As we stated above, it’s good to have a clearly defined role as a caregiver: a list of the things that you are responsible for managing. It’s also important to list those things out so that you have them on hand and don’t miss anything. Prioritize that list by starting with the most important tasks and then working your way down to the least urgent tasks. The better organized your caregiving is, the easier it will be for you to manage and the more at ease your loved one will feel.
Have a Support System For Yourself
As stated above, it can be hard to watch someone you love go through cancer, but you don’t want to take out your own emotions on your loved one, who is going through enough. It’s important to have a support system for yourself: a friend that you can vent to after a particularly trying or worrying day. In some cases, you may need a counselor or therapist in order to have an outlet to grieve and feel while you’re caring for your loved one. The better you’re taking care of yourself, the better you can take care of your loved one.
As a caregiver for an older loved one with cancer, the truth is you can’t do it yourself. Fortunately, CJ & Associates Care Consulting can help. We have a full team and experience in the world of geriatric care. We can help come up with a plan of care as well as evaluations to ensure quality of life is the best it can be. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to help you and your loved one.