When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, life as we know it can suddenly come to a halt. As difficult as it is for the person receiving the diagnosis, it’s also often challenging and overwhelming for those providing care. Whether your role is providing comfort and emotional support, hands-on assistance with transportation or help around the house, or simply stopping by to visit and lift the person’s spirits, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure you’re providing the very best possible care. Nightingale Homecare, the best at home care Scottsdale has to offer, presents the following suggestions:
- Develop a team of support. We’re stronger when we work together and trying to provide care for a loved one with cancer is much more effective when family members, friends, and neighbors band together to utilize their individual strengths. Maybe you’re especially talented in cooking, and can prepare healthy meals for the person, while a family member takes care of mowing the lawn and the neighbors take turns driving the cancer patient to her medical treatments. In sharing responsibilities, no one person experiences burnout, and your loved one’s needs can be fully and cheerfully met.
- Take time to listen. While it may seem as though the person with cancer would welcome the distractions of talking about anything but the cancer itself, the reverse is often true. Ask if she would like to share her feelings about what she’s going through, and if so, devote as much time as needed to simply listen. It’s also human nature to want to try to come up with solutions for our loved ones, but often all the person really needs is the chance to talk and know that she is heard and loved.
- Arm yourself with education. Learning as much as possible about your loved one’s particular type of cancer will help you better understand what to expect as she works through a treatment plan, and therefore to provide the best possible assistance. For instance, if she’s undergoing a round of chemotherapy, learn what the potential side effects are, and how to help combat them, such as preparing certain types of meals that will be more tolerable, avoiding the use of metal when cooking to combat the metallic aftertaste experienced by some, and more.
- Keep in mind who the person was pre-cancer. It’s easy to allow a cancer diagnosis to overshadow everything else, but taking time for normal activities and interests can help the person keep a healthier perspective. Spend time together enjoying the same types of pursuits you did before the diagnosis, or create a modified version if needed, such as taking a slower-paced walk together around the neighborhood instead of a high-intensity aerobics workout at the gym.
- Nightingale Homecare can help! The Scottsdale home health care professionals at Nightingale Homecare are trained and experienced in cancer care, whether the need is for transportation, maintaining a clean home and preparing meals, assisting with bathing and dressing, skilled nursing care, or chronic disease management services. We are available for as much, or as little assistance as needed, to allow family members the opportunity to spend quality time with their loved one.
We’d love to share more cancer care resources with you, or to arrange for an in-home consultation to learn more about the challenges your loved one with cancer is facing and provide solutions to make life easier and more comfortable. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 any time to speak with our experts in at home care in Scottsdale and the surrounding area.