Cancer Diary: Caregiver Survival


Giving care to cancer patients or to anyone with a chronic, life-threatening, terminal illness is highly stressful. This includes hospice situations as well since hospice nurses and aides are only there for a few hours (if that) a week. Meanwhile, the loved one receiving the care may be experiencing deteriorations that are hard to understand (either as patient or caregiver). 

While the medical professional generally does a good job, focusing on the needs of the patient, few in the profession give much thought to the caregiver (although some church programs [support groups] exist that do help). 

As the patient deteriorates, the stress on the caregiver generally increases -- from a pending sense of doom, from escalating demands on time and knowledge (often inferior to the need), and decreasing lack of time for self-renewal.

If you are a caregiver, find some help. Live-in assistance with care provides the most relief, but respite care can help as well. Don't wait until it is too late. If you are the sole caregiver, whether or not you feel stressed out (or admit it), you need someone else helping you. Look for that help because it is not likely that anyone in the professional community will be busy looking out for you until it becomes too late, at least not in the experience of those caregiving individuals in my environment.

A book that is a little older but just as good today as the day it was written is Survival of the Caregiver. You can read excerpts from the book HERE.

For more posts on caregiving, click HERE.

For more posts from Cancer Diary, click HERE.

For other posts on cancer, click HERE.

Blog editor's note: As a memorial to Carl, and simply because it is truly needed, MSI  is now hosting a web page, Carl's Cancer Compendium, as a one-stop starting point for all things cancer, to make it easier for those with cancer to find answers to questions that can otherwise take hours to track down on the Internet and/or from professionals. The web page is in its infancy but expected to expand into robustness. As part of this effort, each week, on Monday, this blog will carry an informative, cancer-related story -- and be open to guest posts: Cancer Diary. 


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