For Caregivers: The Emotional Toll of Caregiving

Caring for someone with cancer can be physically and emotionally draining. Physically, you may experience fatigue, changes in appetite or problems sleeping. Emotionally, you may feel sad, anxious, guilty, angry, frustrated or helpless.
Too often, caregivers put their own needs aside to focus on their loved one’s needs. This may lead to caregiver burnout, which can express itself as:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Resentment
  • Illness
  • Depression
  • Social withdrawal

It’s common for caregivers to become stressed trying to wade through all the cancer research and treatments available. It can be difficult to take control of someone else’s calendar and to schedule what can seem an endless array of appointments. Beacon Advocates can help and allow caregivers to focus on supporting the patient emotionally.

Caregiver tips include:

• Accept that good and bad days are inevitable. Try to remember the good days when a bad one does occur.
• Try to focus on what you can do instead of dwelling on what is not possible. No, you can’t singlehandedly cure the patient’s cancer – but you can be there for them in whatever capacity they need.
• Consider reaching out to an organization such as The National Alliance for Caregiving or the American Cancer Society for additional resources and local support groups.
• Don’t ignore signs of burnout. If you feel depressed, withdrawn, anxious or irritable, take a step back and find help for your caregiver duties.
• Ask for help.

Check out American Cancer Society for more tips:

https://www.cancer.org/treatment/caregivers.html

 

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