Advice for Caregivers

For the patient, a cancer diagnosis is overwhelming, but there is also a lot for spouses or primary caregivers to learn and do. Here’s a list of advice put together by our Regional Cancer Center staff.

  1. Be patient with yourself and your loved one. Much like patients, after a cancer diagnosis, caregivers have a lot of extra things to worry over and learn about. This won’t happen overnight, so be patient with yourself. But also, be patient with your loved one. They are experiencing so much, so do your best to stay calm and loving.
  2. Before a visit to the doctor, sit down with your loved one and help them organize their questions.
  3. Let the patient be involved in their care as much as possible.
  4. Take notes for your spouse or loved one during appointments. This will help you both keep track of what’s happening with treatment.
  5. It’s okay to ask for help, so don’t hesitate to reach out to others. You can involve them in the treatment process, or simply ask them to go take the dog for a walk or pick up the kids from practice.
  6. Try to keep as normal of a routine as possible.
  7. As your loved one progresses through treatment, they will likely experience appetite changes. Don’t be afraid to get creative with meals to make sure they eat.
  8. Make sure you are taking care of your own needs! Try your best to get enough sleep and eat healthy.
  9. Keep calendars or pill boxes to help keep medicines straight.
  10. Maintain a sense of humor and stay positive!