Helping to care for a person with cancer may involve issues ranging from understanding medication side effects and communicating with family to providing information to a patient’s doctor to help determine if a treatment is working.
The American Cancer Society offers this advice for cancer caregivers, recognizing they may feel overworked and under-appreciated:
- Always respect your feelings and those of the patient.
- Use “I” statements, rather than “you” statements. For instance, say, “I need a break” instead of “You never help me!”
- Focus on the present rather than bringing up past patterns or issues.
- Offer comforting assertions, such as: “I want to be here for you to help you get through this. You’re not alone.”