Caring for someone at Home
Being the partner, friend or relative of someone with cancer can be very difficult. Many people refer to the experience as a ‘rollercoaster ride’. The high and low feelings you may go through, including shock, acceptance, fear, relief, anxiety and relief can have a huge impact, both physically and emotionally.
Everyone’s situation is different, and everyone has different ways of coping. Some people find they need to talk through their feelings and fears before they can begin to make plans and decide on practical matters. Others manage better by beginning with the practical things.
Take all the help from family and friends: It is a good idea to involve family and friends at an early stage to understand what each person can do and where you may need further help. Bear in mind your other commitments such as work, family, etc. You also need to keep everyone nformed as things change.
Organise with help and services: Home care agencies may provide cancer patients with access to medical equipment; visits from registered nurses, physical therapists, and social workers; help with running errands, meal preparation, and personal hygiene; and delivery of medication.
Remember that the arrangements can be adjusted later on if the situation changes. For example, when the person first goes home you may not need any help to look after them, but if they begin to get weaker a few weeks later, you may begin to need help with their personal care.