Caregiving can be emotionally and physically daunting. You must navigate a busy schedule of doctors’ appointments and medical treatments while worrying about your loved one’s diagnosis and future. It is understandable that you may feel overwhelmed.
It may comfort you to know that you are not alone, and there are plenty of resources and support designed specifically for caregivers. Here, the team at Piedmont Colorectal Associates shares some tips for you as you face a loved one’s cancer diagnosis.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
As a caregiver, it is easy to assume that no one else understands what you are going through; you might start to withdraw and isolate yourself. But just because you don’t personally know any other caregivers in your situation doesn’t mean there aren’t people facing the exact same challenges that you do.
Joining a support group for caregivers can surround you with people who know exactly how you feel. It can be reassuring to hear how others navigate their loved one’s diagnosis and manage their medical care. Many support groups are led by social workers who have resources to help you. If you feel you need more personalized attention, you might want to find a counselor to work with one on one.
Prioritize Your Own Self-Care
Just because you spend a lot of time focusing on your loved one doesn’t mean you should disregard your own needs. Taking care of yourself and doing things that you enjoy actually makes you a more effective and present caregiver. Eat balanced meals, exercise regularly and see friends when you can. Make sure you stay on top of any of your own health conditions by seeing your primary care physician and taking medications as prescribed.
Delegate When Appropriate
Caregiving is a team effort, and there are probably people around you that want to help. Some specific tasks you can ask for help with include driving your loved one to appointments, picking up prescriptions or preparing meals.
Contact Piedmont Colorectal Associates
For more information about caring for a loved one facing cancer, Piedmont Colorectal Associates is here to help. Give us a call or send us an email with your questions.