When a loved one shares with us that he or she has been diagnosed with cancer, it can take our breath away. It’s tough to know how to react, and we may be nervous about saying or doing the wrong thing – sadly, often leading to distancing ourselves from the person with cancer simply because of our own discomfort.
Of course, what a person with cancer needs more than anything is a strong circle of support. The New Hampshire home care experts at Live Free Home Health Care offer the following strategies to alleviate the difficulties surrounding caring for those with cancer, allowing you to feel more confidence, less trepidation, and to develop a stronger bond with your loved one.
Permit Yourself Time to Adjust
A cancer diagnosis can be life-changing, and though it goes without saying that the individual who has been diagnosed requires time to process this information, his or her loved ones also need adequate time to prepare and empower themselves to be able to provide the best level of support. First and foremost, educating yourself as much as possible about the individual’s specific type of cancer is extremely helpful in grasping what he/she will be dealing with in the days to come, such as treatment plans, side effects, and physical and emotional changes. After that, try to place yourself in the person’s shoes. You might not have ever been diagnosed with cancer, but remembering a time when you were ill, injured, or anxious can help you identify what could have brought you the most comfort.
Identifying what to say to a loved one during this time may be one of the most stressful roles for family and friends. Keep in mind that it is perfectly acceptable to let your loved one know you’re unsure what to say, and oftentimes your presence is more than enough. Making sure the person knows you care and that you are available to listen and provide help in whatever way needed is a great place to start, and let your loved one explain what he or she needs from there.
How to Help
Over and above serving as a caring presence for your loved one with cancer, try making specific suggestions of tasks you’d like to assist with when needed, like picking up groceries, helping with housework, preparing daily meals, or offering transportation to treatments and other medical appointments.
Providing the assistance of an experienced New Hampshire home care professional, such as those at Live Free Home Health Care, is a helpful solution as well, enabling your loved one time to rest and spend quality time with those closest to him or her, while remaining safe and well cared for at home. Providing a full range of trusted in-home care services for individuals battling cancer, we’re available for as much or as little help is needed. Contact us at 603-217-0149 to learn more.