Caregiver Tips (Part 2)

If you missed it, check out Part 1 of this series. Taking on the role of caregiver will mean a lot to your loved one, but it is also a huge responsibility. I was lucky I was able to take the time to be with my daughter Crystal during her treatments, but I know not everyone has the time to do that.

There are many other ways you can be there for your loved one. Take a look at the tips below and see what you can do or help with. Sometimes, just the gift of time and offering some company is all that you will need to do to make a difference.

Here are a few tips you can do that may have a huge impact on the person you care about. Pick one or two and give it a try.

Yes, you should give them a call

So many times we don’t call because we don’t know what to say. Unfortunately, what you don’t see behind the scenes is the lonely person that has cancer and now their friends are gone too. I saw that happen with Crystal and it was sad.

Just calling to say a quick hi would have made her day. There were many times she couldn’t even talk, but knowing someone had tried would have made her feel so good. Cancer can be such a lonely disease. Don’t let that happen to the person you love. Make the call.

Take a walk together

We all need to exercise, especially people with cancer. Take your loved one for a walk, and make it outside. Walking is a natural movement our body needs to practice daily. It has so many healing properties. If you walk outside you will just enhance the experience. There’s the sunshine, the fresh air, the change of scenery, and most importantly, they will have your company.

The walk doesn’t have to be fast, just go at a pace they can handle. Try to come over and walk with them as often as possible, but at least once a week. Not only will that will give them something to look forward to, but you will also be getting exercise - a double bonus!

You are not your loved one

The rate of people getting cancer is so high these days. You may even have experienced cancer yourself. Just remember you did not experience cancer the same way your loved one is experiencing it, even if you had the same diagnosis.

We all have different thoughts and feelings for what we go through. You cannot expect your reality to be theirs. You are not looking in the mirror. Listen to what they have to say and try to understand. If they ask for your advice, offer it, but otherwise, just be there. It may be hard to keep your feelings to yourself, but it is extremely important that you do.

Be flexible

Make plans to see your loved one as often as possible. They will really appreciate it. The thing is, you will need to be flexible. There are so many things that could happen to change your plans. Unexpected doctor visits, side effects that have reared their ugly head or they just may not feel up to it. If that happens, don’t take it personally and don’t stop trying. They really will appreciate your company when they are free and up to it.

A book may help them to pass the time

You may have things going on in your life that limit the contact you can have with your loved one. You may live a long way from where they are. That’s ok, there are still things you can do. One of them is to just send a book. If they are not up to reading, maybe you can purchase an audio subscription for them. This will give them something to do while in treatment or when they are not able to get out and enjoy other activities. Many times we care and want to help and don’t know what to do. This is one idea that will show you care even if you can’t be there.

Everyone is busy and there is limited time with everything going on in your own life. But you still want to show you care, even if it’s for a limited amount of time or in spirit. I hope some of the ideas above help you to do what you can for your loved ones as they battle cancer. Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series!

Wishing you health & happiness.

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