Being part of a support system
Supporting your loved one through cancer can take many different forms. Whether you’re a primary caregiver who takes care of everything, a sibling who lives far away but sends care packages, a neighbor who helps mow the lawn, or an old friend who knows just when to break out an old yearbook, you’re a part of your loved one’s support system.
Each person plays a unique and important role in a person with cancer’s full support system, but it’s equally important for the support system to check in on the primary caregiver. Primary caregivers are often so focused on supporting the person with cancer that it can be hard for them to communicate their own feelings and needs. Don’t forget to check on them and see how you can help.
Guides for Caregivers
Supporting a loved one with cancer is hard. Visit our library to learn more about being a caregiver.
HOW TO HELP
Acts of service are just as important as gifts when your loved one is going through cancer. Don’t forget to support primary caregivers, too.
Make a meal
Whether you cook a meal or pick up their favorite restaurant to-go, show you care through food.
Go for a walk
Taking a walk with a patient or caregiver can help break up their day. The length doesn’t matter, but the thought does.
Drive to appointments
Appointments can be lonely. Driving a patient or sitting with them through it can mean so much.
Cleaning someone’s house, car, or pet can cross an item off their to-do list and allow them to focus on more important things.
Grab groceries, go to the pharmacy, drop the kids off at school. These may seem like small errands to you, but they’re a big deal for people going through it.
Sometimes your loved one just wants to hang out with you. Watch a movie, do a puzzle, chat about your favorite memories, or just sit together in silence…it all counts.
Keeping Patients Safe
During and after treatment, people with cancer can have weakened immune systems. Being immunocompromised means it’s easier for them to catch infections and harder for their body to fight that infection.
A simple cold that barely has symptoms in a healthy person can seriously affect someone going through cancer. It’s never been more important to wash your hands before visiting, wear a mask if necessary, and if you’re feeling sick, wait to see your loved one until you’re healthier.
Tools to help you cope
Make time for yourself. If you’re not taking care of your mental & physical health, you can’t help someone else.
We provide programs for patients and caregivers across the country. See how we can help you.Learn More