When a loved one has been
diagnosed with a serious medical condition, such as cancer, most often it is a
family member, spouse or close friend who becomes the primary caregiver and
assists in the care of the patient. This
is a big responsibility and can be overwhelming.
It is important for the caregiver to also take care of themselves
throughout this challenging time. Here
are some tips for caring for the caregiver:
- Reach out to
other friends and family members for assistance. Make a list of duties that need to be
completed in order to care for the patient and request others to help complete
those tasks. This can help alleviate
some stress for the caregiver.
- Have time
for yourself. It is important that the
caregiver do things that they enjoy doing, such as spending time with friends,
participating in a hobby, etc. This can
help decrease the chance of burnout.
reaching out to a caregiver support group.
This can help you identify with other caregivers who are in a very
similar situation. It is also a great
way to share ideas and tips. The Winship
Cancer Institute of Emory University has a Caregiver Support Group that meets
on the 3rd Wednesday of each month for caregivers of cancer
patients. Caregivers may also be
interested in reaching out to another caregiver one on one for additional
- Make sure
you are getting enough sleep and rest.
Sleep is such an important aspect of taking care of yourself.
relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga.
Journaling is another great way to help process your feelings. This can be helpful in coping with some of
the stress related to caregiving.
Caring for a loved one is such an important role. It is important to remember that caregivers need to be taken care of too!
- Schedule and
keep your own doctor’s appointments. Make
sure you are taking care of yourself and not neglecting your own health. It is common for caregivers to put all of
their focus on the patient they are caring for; however, this can cause
caregivers to neglect their own health. A caregiver must remember to take care of themselves because otherwise
they may not be able to continue taking care of the patient due to their own
Located at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Joy McCall, MSW works with the Bone Marrow Transplant Center, hematology and gynecologic cancer teams and their patients.![endif]-->!--[if>