Cancer is not only a fearful diagnosis, but one that can weigh heavily on the caregiver. Whether the person is caring for a couple of days or for an extended period of time, it takes a toll. Fortunately, there are ways to help lighten the load.
1. Drop off a meal.
Eating is often the last thing on the caregiver’s mind. Get a couple of friends and drop off dinner throughout the week.
2. Offer to run errands.
Speaking from experience, the caregiver will frequently leave his or her loved one to run errands. Instead, stop by and offer to run them. Simple things like getting toilet paper for the house or picking up prescriptions make a huge impact.
3. Clean the house.
Having a clean home has never been more important. Whether the person is post-op or going through treatments, living germ and dust free is definitely a top priority. If you're a close loved one, use it as an opportunity to give the caregiver some “friend time” while you both clean together. Otherwise, you can send a cleaning service.
4. Take the kids out.
Is the caregiver a parent? If so, the children will be impacted as well. Stop by take them to the library and help them get their homework done. Afterwards, maybe stop for dinner before taking the kids back.
5. Never, ever, ever say, “Let me know if you need anything.”
Though you may have the best intentions, most people won’t actually admit they need help, nor will they pick up the phone and ask for help. In an endless world of technology a simple call, text or email will be appreciated.
This is a time when you as the caregiver’s loved one can show how much she means to you. Trust me, whether she knows it or not, she does need help. Who best to receive it from than someone she already cares about?