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.
Caring for Yourself Helps You Care for Others
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.
Call on a New Network of Friends
Family caregivers and friends are encouraged to attend the weekly Caregivers Connect group at City of Hope. This supportive group meets every Wednesday from 12-1:30 at the Biller Patient and Family Resources on the Duarte Campus. It is open to the community.
This 90 minute groups provides a comfortable space for caregivers to
- Learn stress-reduction techniques and
- Most of all, connect with and support each other
- Open to all caregivers and community
- All diagnosis
- In-patient and outpatient
- WALK-INs Welcome
- Lunch is served
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.