If your parent has been diagnosed with cancer and you suddenly find yourself facing the daunting task of seeing to their care, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed and wondering how you can support your parent when the news has come as a shock to you as well. You might even be wondering just what you’re supposed to do now and whether you can handle the added responsibility in your life. All of those feelings and questions are normal. There are many ways you can help your parent deal with cancer. Below are some suggestions that we hope will help you to support your parent as they battle cancer.
Be Part of the Team
Caring for someone with cancer takes a team. The team generally consists of doctors and other medical professionals, family members, friends, and the patient. All of those people will help support your parent in various ways from deciding on a treatment plan to simply providing a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. If you’re the primary family caregiver, you’re likely to be the one who keeps track of all of the aspects of your parent’s care. You might be the only one who knows everything that is going on, such as the dates and times of appointments, what medications are being given, and who will be taking care of your parent when you are not available. Some of the tasks you can do in your role as a family caregiver include:
- Informing doctors about problems your parent experiences, such as side effects or reactions to medications.
- Keeping people, such as other family and friends, informed about your parent’s situation.
- Helping your parent deal with side effects of treatment.
- Make sure medications are refilled when needed.
- Ensuring your parent takes medications.
- Help coordinate care.
- Know who to contact regarding specific issues.
- Attend doctor appointments with your parent.
Help with Every Day Tasks
While your parent is being treated for cancer, they will probably be unable to handle many, if not all, of their normal day to day tasks. Your parent will appreciate knowing they have someone who can help with those things they cannot do. Some of the ways you can help are:
- Do laundry.
- Shop for groceries.
- Prepare meals.
- Field telephone calls and take messages when your parent is not up to talking.
- Help your parent take care of grooming tasks, like bathing and dressing.
- Make sure that bills get paid.
- Prepare meals.
- Take care of pets.
- Assist your parent with using the bathroom.
- Drive your parent to appointments.
- Receive guests who stop in to check on your parent.
Know When You Need Help
When your parent is ailing, it’s easy to put their health before your own. However, this can cause you to spread yourself too thin and leave you feeling frustrated or even depressed. You may even have trouble keeping up with your own familial and financial obligations. As a family caregiver, it’s important that you take care of yourself first and recognize when you need help. Hiring a home care provider through an agency can help ease the burden of caring for a parent with cancer by adding another member to your parent’s team who can help with many of the day to day tasks. A home care provider will see to it that your parent is well taken care of while you handle your own responsibilities and take some much needed and deserved time for yourself.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring a professional caregiver in Stockton, CA, please contact the caring staff at ApexCare®. Proudly Serving Sacramento, Yolo, Placer & El Dorado Counties. Call Today 916-924-9111.