Perhaps one of the most difficult and dreaded diagnoses to hear from the doctor is “cancer.” Sadly, it’s a diagnosis that’s becoming all too familiar to many of us personally or to someone we know like our loved ones. As questions begin to swirl in the cancer patients’ minds over what will happen next, their loved ones are equally shocked and unsure about how to handle the situation.
At AAging Better In-Home Care , we understand the turmoil and confusion surrounding a cancer diagnosis and offer the following suggestions on how to sensitively and compassionately support a loved one battling this disease:
1. Just be there. Lending a loving and concerned ear whenever the cancer patient feels like talking about their diagnosis or the chemotherapy they’re undergoing is often the best thing a spouse or family member can do.
2. Avoid minimizing the situation. The “everything will be all right” attitude seems positive, but your loved one likely understands that everything might not turn out all right. False cheeriness is not always what he or she needs.
3. Prepare to change roles or play new ones. You may have to step in to fulfill some (or all) of the duties your loved one used to do, such as the cooking or house cleaning, care of the car, lawn or the outside of the house.
4. Become an advocate for your loved one. Research and scout out cancer specialists and learn everything you can about the particular type of cancer and its treatments, bringing questions to the attention of the oncologist at the loved one’s appointments. Your loved one may not always think to ask the questions you might have.
5. Offer to help with the everyday activities of living, such as bathing, dressing and grooming when you see your loved one declining in strength or sick from the chemotherapy. And if that isn’t practical or possible, consider retaining the services of an in-home care company like AAging Better In-Home Care to accomplish these for the loved one. Companies like ours can provide respite and in-home care services to ensure loved ones remain comfortable and healthy at home while undergoing treatments.
It’s important to remember that there’s a wide range of reactions and responses that those with cancer may experience, and those feelings may change over time. Our compassionate and skilled caregivers at AAging Better In-Home Care are here to support you and your loved one every step of the way, with services available for as little as 2 hours up through 24-hour, around-the-clock care. Call us toll-free at 866-464-2344 for a free in-home assessment or for more tips on caring for a loved one with cancer.