Nov 05, 2015 10:00 AM

Author: Cancer Learning Center

You may think you are just doing what anyone would do for a loved one being treated for cancer, but anyone who helps is a caregiver. Caregivers may be family or friends who drive a patient to appointments, prepare a meal, watch children, or go shopping. Some caregivers provide full-time care. Others just listen.

As a caregiver, you take on a new role with your loved one. An essential part of this role is to care for yourself as well. These tips can help you manage this new role:

Communicate with the patient. Talk openly and honestly with your loved one about your concerns and fears. Express your love and appreciation. Allow your loved one to express feelings, too.

Understand your limitations. At times you may feel overwhelmed with the physical, financial, and emotional demands of being a caregiver. Understand your limits and be willing to let go of things that may be too much for you.

Seek help as needed. Ask for help from professionals, friends, and family when demands are too much. They may only be waiting to know what you need.

Become part of the team. You, other caregivers, the health care providers, and your loved one are all members of a team to help him or her through the disease.

The G. Mitchell Morris Cancer Learning Center has books, videos, and CDs with information about taking care of caregivers. To learn more, call 1-888-424-2100 toll free.

Cancer Learning Center

Huntsman Cancer Institute

Cancer touches all of us.

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