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Care Tips for Cancer Caregivers

Cancer patients aren’t the only ones who need a little extra TLC during treatments. Caregivers who provide the daily at-home support for those facing down this disease are also likely to find the battle takes its toll on them. After all, caring for a sick loved one while maintaining a positive attitude can come with a steep physical and emotional price.

Since the role a caretaker plays is so important in the quest for a positive outcome, it’s important for caretakers to also take care of themselves. While it’s not easy to put yourself first when a loved one is in the midst of cancer treatments, it is necessary to maintain your own health and peace of mind as the fight continues. These tips can help you make sure you’re getting the care you need as you care for your loved one:

• Maintain a healthy diet – As you find yourself worrying if your loved one is receiving all the nutrition necessary to maintain health during rigorous treatments, don’t forget to fuel your own body. Be sure to keep meals healthy and nutrition packed and resist the urge to eat on the go out of paper sacks simply to save time.
• Exercise – Watching a loved one battle cancer can take a high emotional toll while creating a lot of stress. Even a few minutes of exercise a day can help keep the body strong while also relieving some of that tension.
• Get plenty of rest – Sleeping while worrying isn’t easy, but do try to strive for that 8 hours a night to ensure you have the energy to face the next day ahead. Exercise can help on this front.
• Talk about it – While you’re not facing the diagnosis, cancer is taking its toll on you, as well. Chances are you have lots of questions and concerns you need to get off your mind. Don’t be afraid to talk about them. Ask the doctor the questions you have and enlist other friends or family to simply give voice to your concerns. Getting things off your chest can make a huge difference in your outlook.
• Don’t be afraid to accept help – If friends and family offer to give you a break, don’t turn it down. You cannot do it all. Get help with cooking meals, cleaning and even watching over your loved one so you can simply get away for a few minutes to clear your mind.

Caring for a sick loved one is a big job. Accept help and don’t forget to take time out for yourself. Doing so can help you play your part as caregiver even better.

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