Breast Cancer & Family Caregiving
Breast cancer's effects are not only felt by those who are diagnosed.
Whenever a family member faces a life-threatening illness, loved ones quickly rally around in concern and care.
Sometimes, holding their hand, or physical contact such as a good back rub or foot massage, may be all the support they need to keep up the fight.
In a practical sense, that includes being a good companion on doctor's visits, or simply acting as a sounding board to help them face their fears or to share in their personal triumphs.
If necessary, home hospice care suddenly means extra added responsibilities -- from dispensing prescription medicines to coordinating visitng nurse services. Especially for first-time caregivers, the responsibiity can be overwhelming. So reaching out is important! No one can do it all alone. And there is help out there.
Hospitals that specialize in cancer treatment usually have a social services professional on staff to arrange for family couseling. Online breast cancer support groups are also invaluable for helping you avoid the usual pitfalls of caregiving (like physical or emotional burnout).
Around the web, find out more about what you need to know with special tips for spouses, emotional support for children that are involved, and helpful advice for providing home hospice care to loved ones with advanced stage breast cancer.
also see related feature -> How, When & What to Tell the Children
10 Tips for Family Caregivers
Along with medical and legal issues, included are simple tips to help caregivers stay physically and emotionally healthy.
CancerCare: Ask a Question
Check out this great archive of Q&A staffed by doctors with professional tips and advice for patients and caregrivers.
Written by Allan Grossman, this classic article is good for the husband new to the caregiver role and even better for a boost to the seasoned caregiver.
Support for People With Cancer and the People Who Care About Them" from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. Adobe Reader required.
Well Spouse Foundation
They are an association of husbands & wives on a mission. The slogan is "When one is sick...two need help." They exist to do just that.