Caring for Yourself as a Caregiver
Cancer affects not only the quality of life of the person who is directly impacted by the disease, but also that of family and friends. This is particularly true for individuals who serve as caregivers for cancer survivors.
It is often easy for caregivers to forget about their own needs while providing unconditional love and support to a cancer survivor. However, it is important to remember that in order to be the best caregiver you can be, you must take care of your own mental, physical, and emotional health as well. Maintaining employment, cultivating relationships outside of your caregiving role, integrating physical activity into your daily routine, and accepting help when it is offered are all ways to ensure that you are able to sustain your overall health and wellbeing while serving as a caregiver. Remember, caregiving is a team effort.
There are many online resources for caregivers, some of which directly relate to caregivers of cancer survivors. Several nationally recognized organizations, including the Family Caregiver Alliance, the National Alliance for Caregiving, and the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving provide general resources, information, tools, and support for caregivers of all varieties.
Cancer-focused organizations that provide evidence-based information, resources, tools, and advice for caregivers of cancer survivors include: