It's natural for a caregiver to get wrapped up in a patient’s needs. Yet that’s when it is especially important for a caregiver to look after his or her own well-being.
That way, caregivers can sustain their personal energy and outlook. That’s crucial when they’re trying to accompany a patient along the often stressful and uncertain path of cancer treatment.
The first thing to understand, if you’re a caregiver? That you’re not alone. In the U.S., there are approximately 52 million of us providing care to a family member or friend.
As you probably know, it can be a challenging task. A key part of your role is to help identify and address medical symptoms or complications by using the appropriate resources, which means you have to be as informed about the patient’s diagnosis and treatment as the patient.
Falling prey to anxiety and depression can be a real hazard for a caregiver. Staying physically and emotionally healthy, finding time for yourself, and keeping up your connections with friends and family are all crucial to avoiding those – and enjoying all the rewards and fulfillment that can come with helping another person confront and combat cancer.
In the following pages, you will find a host of tips, advice and guidance on how to look after yourself while you’re helping someone else.
But for even more help, don’t hesitate to reach out for the support City of Hope can offer.
The doctors, nurses, social workers and other support professionals at City of Hope are part of your personal support network now, and ready to help whenever you need them.