Cancer touches more than those who are diagnosed with it. It can break the hearts of parents and it can change the life of a spouse. It can turn a young man or woman into an instant caregiver, someone who must tend to the needs of a vulnerable mother, father, sibling or friend.
Family members and friends are often forgotten when it comes to cancer, but cancer can affect their quality of life, too. Now, City of Hope clinical social workers are giving caregivers their due.
The Department of Clinical Social Work offers a new, monthly support group for those who care for patients with cancer. Co-facilitated by City of Hope’s Rupinder Sidhu, M.S.W., and Carol Chung, M.S.W., the group provides valuable information, education and practical tips for caregivers. Caregivers often feel angry, exhausted and isolated — and they may even feel guilty about having these emotions, Chung said. The group allows caregivers to share their own experience and encouragement
with each other, easing the toll that cancer can take on their lives.
“We hope that physicians, nurses and other health professionals refer their patients’ family members and friends to this group so that they can have that connection and support during care,” said Chung.
The group begins on June 4. It meets every first Wednesday of the month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Y9 Conference Room in the Main Medical building.
The caregivers group adds to a growing array of educational, problem solving and support groups run through the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center. For information about the caregivers group or other support groups, call the Department of Clinical Social Work at extension 62282.