Ten Most Common Caregiver Duties
When your loved one has cancer, you may find yourself in the role of caregiver. Caring for a family member or close friend can be very rewarding, even if exhausting. Here are ten of the most common caregiver tasks.
Handling Doctor’s Appointments
Your loved one will have several doctor’s appointments. They may or may not be able to drive themselves. Additionally, they may need the support of a loved one and a second set of ears to be able to take in and retain all the information coming their way.
Lack of energy is a side effect of many cancer treatments and medications, so your loved one will need additional help around the house. Family members can offer to help with housework and yard work. If you have enough help, you might consider setting up a schedule of who can help and when.
Day-to-day care will be different while your loved in is undergoing treatment. You may need to assist with hygiene care, dressing and other personal tasks.
You may find yourself spending a lot of time behind the wheel as your loved one may not be able to drive during treatment. It is important to remember that moments spent doing these tasks can still become quality time together. Cherish your car rides and conversations and try to make the best of your time on the road.
Cooking and Feeding
Another task that you may need to assist with is meal preparation and possibly feeding. Your loved one’s physician may have talked with you about special dietary restrictions. Make sure to take those into consideration, as well as your loved ones personal preferences.
Don’t forget about Fido. This is a great chore to let younger children assist with. Pets will still need attention while your parent, grandparent or spouse are undergoing treatment. Offer to let the kids play with the pets while you assist with other tasks.
Helping with Exercise
Your loved one may not feel like exercising, but with your persuasion, he or she may be ready to take a short walk. Every little bit helps. Be sure to consult with your their physician to find out what is best.
Organizing the Calendar
It’s easy to forget things when you have the additional stress of cancer treatment on your mind. Organization is key. You may have to organize your loved one’s calendar and remind them of appointments.
Your loved one will not always feel up for running errands. Coordinate your errands together. If you are running to the grocery store, text them and ask them if they need anything. This extra step in planning will save time later, so you don’t find yourself pulling double duty.
You may find yourself as the medication monitor. Make it as easy as possible for yourself and your loved one by using a pill organizer and setting alerts on your phone. You don’t want to miss a dose.
There is a lot to keep track of. Enlist help where you can, and remember that your loved one is truly thankful for all that you are doing, even if they are not able to express it. Need a little break from your caregiver responsibilities? We encourage you to take some time taking care of yourself as well.