Caring for Loved Ones with Cancer
A diagnosis of cancer puts a tremendous burden on a family both directly and indirectly. While the main focus is placed on providing the patient with the treatment he or she needs, the physical, mental and emotional needs of loved ones who serve as caregivers often get overlooked.
Caregivers have to perform a wide range of duties, including preparing meals, administering medication, attending doctor appointments, assisting with a patient's physical therapy, handling household chores and worrying about financial issues.
Another stress comes with providing the constant moral support and TLC that family members struggling with a serious illness require. In order to provide this care, caregivers often neglect their own health, isolate themselves and lose their social contacts.
The responsibility on caregivers shoulders can be frightening, carrying with it the fear that if they make a mistake, they may harm their loved ones.
Find information on patient navigators and Cancer Resource Centers - two excellent resources at Sentara for those providing care to cancer patients.
Strength for Caring's Cancer Caregivers section is a helpful resource for family and friends of cancer patients.