Caregiving & Mesothelioma

Posted by: The Bristal

Dear Readers,

Here is some important information about a disease that inflicts Seniors and other populations that have been exposed to asbestos poisoning. This article was sent to me last week by Kelsey Rathbun from The Mesothelioma Center.

The Importance of Mesothelioma Caregivers
The role that caregivers play in the life of someone with mesothelioma cannot be understated. Whether the primary caregiver is a family member, a friend or a neighbor, the responsibilities of this role directly affect the quality of life of the person fighting this disease.

Mesothelioma caregivers are engaged to provide physical and emotional support during the most critical periods of a person’s life, often performing many of the tasks that a cancer patient no longer can do. Because of the aggressive and debilitating nature of mesothelioma, a patient’s condition may deteriorate rapidly, adding more responsibility to the caregiver.

For a caregiver, providing physical support can include everything from helping the patient move around the house to cooking meals to transporting them to doctor visits and hospitals appointments.

Caregivers can take care of their patients by:

• Giving them baths
• Cleaning the house
• Running errands
• Paying bills

These activities can consume much of the caregiver’s time but greatly help someone trying to have a normal life with mesothelioma.

Emotional Support Key for Caregivers
Providing emotional support may be the single-most important task a mesothelioma caregiver can perform. Dealing with mesothelioma cancer, along with all the treatments that are associated with it, can be a depressing, stressful and anger-causing event for anyone, regardless of their walk of life.

Because mesothelioma is not necessarily a role of the dice – being exposed to asbestos is the cause – there are all sort of questions about the disease that arise, and many have nothing to do with the disease itself.

With all this, having an able caregiver can drastically ease this emotional burden. A caregiver should be a listening ear whenever the patient wants to speak. They must provide comfort for the cancer patient by remaining optimistic, hopeful and encouraged at all times. This also entails getting the patient to talk about their feelings, even at times when they may not want to.

Communication Is Important
Losing one’s independence and having to rely on someone else can be a difficult reality to deal with. Caregivers need to promote open communication so both parties understand the expectations, the responsibilities and the requirements and boundaries of the caregiver-patient relationship.

It is equally important for a mesothelioma caregiver to take good care of themselves while they are caring for their client or family member. If the caregiver is not in good health, he or she will not be able to provide the kind of care will come to expect. And it can lead to resentment from both sides.

It’s important for caregivers to know that they could need help, too. Support groups and doctors are wonderful resources to assist caregivers with the understanding and help that they need to perform their duties.

The importance of a mesothelioma caregiver may be evident through the sense of normalcy that is maintained in a patient’s life. Despite the change a cancer diagnosis often brings, a caregiver can be the person who helps a patient appreciate the importance of quality of life.

Click on this link for more information. The Mesothelioma Center at asbestos.com

Regards,
Maryellen McKeon

Source:  Kelsey Rathbun of The Mesothelioma Center.

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