The "C" word understandably strikes fear in the hearts of patients and their families; nothing is more difficult than learning a loved one has cancer. As a trusted Menlo Park home care agency, we have a few suggestions to help you support your parent and yourself through what is often a very difficult time.
Help with housekeeping, or hire someone who can. When a parent has cancer, treatment often leaves the body weak and tired - not to mention the mental stress he or she suffers. Take care of the laundry, sweep, dust, pick up groceries, and help with other tasks. If you don't have the time to do it, hire someone who can. This will help alleviate a lot of the worry and stress your parent is under.
Try a little pampering. Not only will mom or dad appreciate a manicure, pedicure, or back massage for the relaxation it offers, your parent will also enjoy (perhaps even more) the time spent together as you indulge him or her in these small luxuries.
Hire a CNA if your parent is frequently in the hospital. Running back and forth several times a day can take a toll on you as a caregiver, not to mention the money you spend on gas. In some cases a parent with cancer can be taken care of at home by a certified nursing assistant who can take vitals, administer medications (either orally or via IV), and more. Easier on you, and your loved one.
Read stories about others who are going through cancer treatment or who have survived it. Whether in magazines, blogs or websites on the internet, there are lots of inspirational and amazing stories that will enlighten you and your parent about how others deal with cancer. Reading these stories helps your parent in many ways, especially emotionally. Reading about those who have survived will also give you inspiration and emotional support as a caregiver.
Provide a distraction. Cancer patients often spend endless hours taking chemo treatments, time that's all too often spent dwelling on cancer. Give your parent something that will distract them from the disease and give them something else to occupy their mind such as an iPod or portable DVD player so he or she can listen to music or watch movies. If you spend time with your parent while undergoing treatment, crochet together, play a game of cards, or work crossword puzzles. Do it together!
Being diagnosed with cancer is often a huge shock; living with it is difficult, even for the strongest person. Help your parent using some of the ideas above, but also be sure to give yourself time away so you can rejuvenate and rest.
If you need help with caregiving, Care Indeed provides compassionate, highly trained home caregivers for Menlo Park residents in need of assistance. Get support from someone who truly cares, and who will help you and your parent through this challenging time.
Home care is derived from the belief that older adults should be able to age at home with the level of care they need to be safe and comfortable.