You may find yourself in a new role as a caregiver even if you're younger or older. You may have been an active part of someone's life before, but perhaps now that they're a cancer patient, there are different ways you can support them. It could be in a way you've never experienced before, or in a way that feels more intense than before.
You are one of the volunteers who provide emotional and physical care to a loved one with lung cancer. Caregiving may be the most difficult job you ever take on, but it is also one of the most valuable for your loved ones. Remember that you’re not in it alone there are many resources that can assist you.
Q- How to transition into a caregiver role?
Learning that your beloved one has lung cancer can be scary and overwhelming. But, you are not alone. There are 43.5 million people in the U.S. who are caring for loved ones with cancer and other illnesses. As a caregiver, you will play a crucial part in your loved one’s fight against the disease. You're on a journey together, it’s not just the person with cancer who is affected. As you transition into the role of caregiver, these tips may help.
A lung cancer diagnosis is often a shock and it may take some time to process what’s happening for the patient and for those who love him or her. Try to keep that in mind and be calm as you and your loved one settle into this new normal.
3. Define Your Role
Discuss with your loved one what ways you think you can help him or her with treatment and care. Setting expectations may help to reduce stress and identify areas where you may need additional assistance.
2. Get Organized
There will be a lot of medical information to keep track of for your loved one. Create a binder with tabbed sections where you can file important things, such as phone numbers, prescription information, schedules, lab tests, and medical bills. Keep the binder organized and current at all times.
4.Do Your Research
Learning as much as you can about the kind of lung cancer your loved one has and the treatment options available will be helpful to him/her. Ask your loved one’s treating doctor or nurse for suggestions on appropriate books, online resources, and other materials that might help you learn more
5.Connect with Others
Finding support early may help you and your loved one navigate the new world into which you have entered. Now maybe the time to lean on family and friends for help with daily tasks around the house as well as emotional support. Ask your loved one’s doctors and nurses about local support groups. There are also numerous online forums, including one run by LUNGevity. Lungevity.org, where you can ask questions, chat, or simply read about other people's experiences when time permits.
Q- How to manage Job while caregiving?
Caregiving takes time, between daily tasks like doctor's visits, cleaning, and meal preparation. If you are working this can be hard to juggle; in order to meet the demands of being a caregiver, you may feel the need to turn down job opportunities, take leaves, work fewer hours or even retire early. Below are some tips for managing your job while you take care of your loved one.
1. Talk to your employer- While every job is different. It's usually a good idea to inform your employer of your situation. It helps your employer to understand the challenges you are facing and see that you are still committed to the job. Speak about your options such as doing part-time for a period of time, working from home during treatment days, or taking leave—and don’t be afraid, to be honest, and realistic.
2. Know your Rights- If you need to stop working completely for a period of time, talk to your employer so you might be able to take paid or unpaid time off and still keep your job. Research-based on Family and Medical Leave Act whether Paid Family Leave (PFL) is available in your state and know your rights regarding paid or unpaid leave.
3. Use your EAP- If your company provides an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), learn about it and take advantage of any services that may be beneficial to you. Some offer counseling services for financial concerns, stress, and depression.
4. Get Help During Work Hours- While you are away consider getting paid help during work hours so someone can be with your loved one. Family and friends may be able to assist as well.
5. Use Delivery Services- Cut down on errands and maximize time at work and with your loved one by using online services to deliver medications, groceries, supplies, etc.
References- 1. https://lungevity.org/sites/default/files/file-uploads/01-transitioning-to-caregiver-role.pdf 2. https://lungevity.org/sites/default/files/file-uploads/10-managing-your-job-while-caregiving.pdf