Welcome Guest Blogger, Nicole Godfrey, writer and community outreach associate for Mesothelioma Guide.
In the words of Brett H. Lewis, “Health is by chance – Caregiving is by choice.” Caregiving is a huge responsibility, but you must remember that you are only human. You must also remember that the person that you’re caring for is still the same person. Don’t let a diagnosis change your point of view about them.
Mesothelioma Guide is dedicated to helping mesothelioma patients thrive, which includes providing information and support to their caregivers.
What to Expect
There are several factors to take into consideration when it comes to assuming the role of caregiver. As a caregiver to a mesothelioma patient, your role is going to change as the patient’s disease develops. The patient’s state of health may improve or it may decline.
Here are a few responsibilities you may have
- Feeding, dressing, bathing
- Managing medication
- Providing transportation
Your duties as a caregiver are to assist in the day-to-day activities of the patient. You will not only monitor their health and provide them companionship, but you will find yourself being a part of a big decision making process. You will help them make decisions about their treatments, their financial and legal issues, their insurance, and their end-of-life treatment.
Don’t Forget About Yourself
As a caregiver you are going to find yourself being a huge part of someone else’s life, but you must remember that you are an important factor to making your role successful.
It is completely ok to take a timeout and to assess the new responsibilities that you are having to adapt to.
Here are a few tips to any caregiver
- Take care of yourself physically
- Accept help from others
- Seek the aid of respite help
Read Mesothelioma Guide’s blog for more information on how to take care of yourself as a mesothelioma caretaker.
Talk About It
You are going to find yourself being a whirlwind of emotions. You are going to be scared. You are going to be angry. And that is ok. However, don’t bottle up your emotions. Talking about the circumstances can be your best dose of medicine.
You can always talk directly to the person who you are caring for. By doing this, you can address any questions you may have. Also, this allows you and the patient to express how you are both feeling. However, if the person you are caring for doesn’t want to talk, or you find it difficult to talk to them, you can always explore the option of support groups.
Support groups aren’t just for the patient. Some of these groups are designed specifically to help caregivers. Support groups help a person to stay both positive and hopeful. A person can attend a support group meeting in person, by a phone conference, or online.
It has also been proven that support groups can
- Provide inspiration
- Offer comfort
You must remember that you are not alone. Support groups are designed to create a community where people can talk about their disease or it gives caregivers a chance to express their concerns about caring for someone with a disease.