Being A Good Caregiver Also Means Taking Care Of Yourself

The caregivers of cancer patients have to make sure they take good care of themselves so they can help the patient cope.
Posted at 6:36 PM, Oct 21, 2015

"It's very hard on the caregiver because they're the ones who have to be upbeat all the time." 

When a loved one gets a cancer diagnosis, family members and friends move into the caregiver role.

Helping that loved one can take a physical, mental and emotional toll on caregivers. A study cited by the American Cancer Society says more than "50 percent of caregivers spent more than 8 hours a day caring for patients who are getting chemotherapy." 

"It's very hard on the caregivers. Like with my husband, you can't see cancer. It's not like a broken bone; you don't see blood." 

And that's on top of everything else most people have to do on a daily basis. So it's important caregivers take care of themselves so they can help take care of their loved ones. 

The American Cancer Society lists three recommendations that can help keep a caregiver in the best shape to help their loved one cope. 

The first: Do things you enjoy — things as simple as having lunch with a friend, exercising and just setting a time aside during the day to talk about something other than cancer. 

Joining a support group can help caregivers feel less alone. It can be difficult to discuss the pressures of caregiving with the person receiving that care, so talking to other people in your position is vital. (Video via American Cancer Society

The last: Make sure you don't do it all by yourself. It's tough to give great care by yourself for a long period of time. Involving other family members as much as you can will help ease stress and make sure you're at your best to help your loved one face cancer.