4 years ago, we lost my mother-in-law Adelaide Elizabeth Blake who succumbed to colon cancer on August 31, 2013.
Hubby was a caregiver to her for about a year before she passed and I saw the toll that it took on him. Caregiving can be both rewarding and challenging but most importantly, caregivers should remember to take care of themselves while providing care for the person with cancer.
9 times out of 10, caregivers are often family members or friends who provide important physical, practical, and emotional support to a person with cancer. Caregivers may have a range of responsibilities on a daily or as-needed basis. Below are just a few of the responsibilities caregivers may take on:
Providing support and encouragement
Helping manage symptoms and side effects
Coordinating medical appointments
Providing a ride to appointments
Assisting with meals
Helping with household chores
Handling insurance and billing issues
Many caregivers live in the home of a cancer patient others care from a distance which was the case with my husband as he shared duties with Adelaide’s sister Alda who moved up from Maryland.
Fortunately, there are now programs in which caregivers can be provided financial assistance when caring for a loved one which helps tremendously. Thanks to innovations in Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs, older adults and people with disabilities are designing their own in-home care programs and hiring family members (and, in rare cases, spouses).
There’s still a long way to go to meet the needs of all families but for more information, check out the AARP.org website.
On Sunday’s Podcast, I interviewed Nicolle Surratte, founder of the KaleidoscopeDE Cancer Conference and Dr. Dee Grace, who works tirelessly on conquering and preventing cancer using a holistic approach. We talked about how stress can have a major impact on the caregivers and also how it plays a role in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.
Click the link to hear the entire Podcast.
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