Being given a diagnosis of cancer is life-changing, and making sure you have a strong network of support is vital. When it’s a friend or loved one, you may be unsure about what you can do to help. You’ll want to know the best ways to support someone with cancer without overstepping boundaries or making them feel discomfort for any reason. What can you do to best provide relief through a diagnosis of cancer for someone you love? Our experts in home care have some guidelines to get you started.
- Be there. Simply being present to listen, talk, and even share humor with the person when appropriate can be beneficial to someone who wants to live life as normally as possible in spite of their diagnosis.
- Offer appropriate meals. Cancer treatments like chemo and radiation can bring on exhaustion, so preparing meals can be difficult. These kinds of treatments can also impact how food tastes. Ask the person what types of foods might be appetizing, and then prepare meals for them accordingly. Realize that it may take some trial and error to find what is most palatable.
- Learn as much as you can. Educate yourself on the form of cancer the person has been diagnosed with to better comprehend what they are facing. Search online for trusted sources such as Johns Hopkins or the Mayo Clinic.
- Advocate. Help the person document any questions or concerns before their next doctor’s appointment. If they would like, attend the appointment with them and help make sure each issue is addressed.
- Ask to find out exactly what they need. Quite often, a person with cancer or any other chronic condition will hear from well-meaning family and friends, “Let me know if you need anything!” It’s then up to the person struggling with their diagnosis to determine what’s needed, and to follow up with those who offered with ways to help. You can be proactive and find out exactly what will most help the person. On one day, they may need help with doing dishes, laundry, and vacuuming, while another day they may really need some healthy meals prepared or simply someone to talk to for a welcome distraction.
As the top provider of home care in Austin, San Antonio, San Marcos, Waco, and the surrounding areas in Texas, CareFor is here to help those with cancer live more comfortable lives at home. Call us at (512) 338-4533 for more information and resources, or to request a free in-home meeting to find out more about how we can help.