5 Factors to Consider When Caring for Someone with Mesothelioma
Nicole Winch | December 29, 2020
Most people may think of caregivers as hired health professionals, however, more often than not they are family members or friends. Spouses, adult children and even grandchildren may fill the role as their loved ones’ mesothelioma caregiver.
While serving as the primary caregiver for someone with mesothelioma seems like an overwhelming task, it doesn’t have to be. Understanding the disease itself and maintaining your own mental health during this journey are the first steps in successfully helping your loved one manage their cancer.
Regardless of your relationship to the patient, stepping into this role can be a rewarding and life changing experience. Here are five things that you should know when caring for someone with mesothelioma.
1. Be Emotionally Supportive
Cooking, cleaning and running errands are all common tasks a caregiver might do on a daily basis. However, sometimes just sitting down and lending an ear to listen can be equally as important.
Providing emotional support and companionship are key components when it comes to your loved ones recovery. Listening to their concerns, fears and even offering advice can make all the difference while they go through this difficult journey
2. Help Monitor Your Loved Ones Health
Oftentimes, as a caregiver you will be communicating with doctors frequently. Since caregivers spend the most time at home with the patient, they will be able to keep the patients day-to-day health in check.
Administering and managing medications at home are an important task caregivers may take on. This can be great help for the doctors when it comes to adjusting doses or changing medications.
Some caregivers might take it a step further and seek advice from a professional caregiver. Professional caregivers will be able to give great insight into helping your loved one with pain and symptom management as well as the everyday aspects of caregiving.
3. Research Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
Exploring complementary and alternative therapies could help improve your loved ones overall quality of life. These types of therapies have become popular in helping patients relieve some of their symptoms and cope with their disease. Some alternative therapies may include meditation and breathing techniques, yoga, strength-training exercises and tai chi. Other helpful holistic approaches may include acupuncture, massage therapy and aromatherapy.
4. Participate in a Support Group
Mesothelioma patients and their caregivers need all the support they can get. Joining a support group to openly share your experiences can be very beneficial. Fortunately, there are many support groups across the U.S. specifically for mesothelioma patients and their families.
Talking to others in similar situations may help alleviate some of the stresses you may experience day-to-day. Your loved one may receive feedback on what to expect during treatments and gain peace of mind.
5. Assist in Decision Making
While your loved one is undergoing cancer treatment, making decisions can be overwhelming and confusing. Doing your best to help them understand all their options is pertinent to easing any stress they may feel. There is nothing wrong with talking to their doctors and insurance providers to help you get a better understanding of how all the options work.
Oftentimes, there are financial decisions and legal issues to consider when it comes to a mesothelioma diagnosis. Many patients and their families are eligible for compensation for this life-altering disease. This is something you can research and provide insight on for your loved one.