A cancer diagnosis affects everyone surrounding the person diagnosed. Fortunately, there are many new innovative treatments available which have positively changed survivor statistics. There are also many support groups and resources for both the cancer patient and their caregiver(s).
Unlike in the past, most cancer treatments are received in outpatient treatment centers, not hospitals. This requires a caregiver to transport the person receiving treatment to and from the outpatient center. It also requires a caregiver or loved one to act in a number of roles before, during, and after treatment.
Here are some ways to address your own needs while caring for an elderly parent or relative battling cancer:
- Plan activities that you enjoy such as meeting a friend for coffee
- Complete a task that gives you a sense of accomplishment such as finishing a home improvement project
- Focus on your health and create a daily exercise plan to help reduce stress
- Engage in activities that make you relax such as watching a movie or playing a board game with others
It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed by your caretaker tasks and responsibilities. But if it prohibits you from enjoying other aspects of your life, it may be time to consider seeking help from a professional. It is important to prioritize your own help and seek the care of a mental health professional if you:
- Begin to feel hopeless or depressed
- Notice a change in your physical health
- Fail to take care of yourself
- Begin to depend on alcohol to cope
- Experience increased conflict with other family members or friends
Our elderly parents deserve the best care possible as they navigate their cancer treatments, but it needs to be balanced with practical care for your wellbeing. As their caregiver, you need to prioritize your wellbeing, too. Hopefully, these tips will help you achieve a happy and healthy balance between the two.
If you are looking for additional support to meet the needs of your family member, please reach out to us at: www.affinityseniorcare.com or call Affinity at 248-363-8430.