Wellness Tips

Practical Tips To Help You Support Loved Ones With Cancer

World Cancer Day, held every year on 4 February, is a global initiative uniting people everywhere to face one of humanity’s greatest health challenges. Here’s how you can support a loved one with cancer.

This year’s global theme is: Uniting our voices and taking action. It emphasizes that beating cancer is a team effort. Together, we can take action and become part of our loved ones’ treatment tribe and support them through their treatment journeys.

Practical Tips To Support Cancer Patients

Here are some examples from the expert caregivers and doctors at Life Healthcare in support of World Cancer Day.

Treat them like a person, not a patient

Your loved one is the same friend or family member they always were, but they are facing a serious, potentially debilitating condition.

Bear this in mind, and treat them the same way you always have, while considering their specific needs related to their cancer journey.

Support them by running some errands

Low energy is one of the main side effects of treatment. Running errands that we usually take for granted can be hugely tiring for someone with the disease. You can be a great support by picking up the groceries, taking the kids to school, or just doing the dishes.

Prepare meals or order in

Cooking can be equally challenging when living with cancer. Give your loved ones a bit less to worry about. Organize dinner. Otherwise, help with meal prep, prepare a week’s worth of dinners, and stock the fridge or the freezer!

Download a movie or some music

When we’re not feeling great, quality entertainment can elevate our mood, and take our minds off the difficulties we’re facing. Take the initiative. Put together a selection of fun options to keep your loved one in a good space.

Sit in on consults and take notes

Another way you can support them is by offering to accompany a loved one to their appointments with their cancer specialists.

Conditions such as brain fog are real, and it can be a great help if you keep a record of the insights the medical team shares, for discussion later.

Provide a care package

While highly beneficial, cancer treatments can be draining. While your friend gathers their strength between visits to the oncology center, a package of soothing items – creams, balms, and mineral water – can make them feel better and remind them that they are loved. Caregivers who are empathetic in nature can often feel helpless when their loved one is presented with a cancer diagnosis.

My advice to those caregivers is to support in the most practical forms such as this, can positively impact the patient’s emotional and mental well-being which, in turn, contributes to a more positive treatment experience.

Be there for them

More than anything, your loved one needs to know that people care about them. Stay in touch. To talk, to help, or just to be present. You are part of their team and on the cancer journey together.

With support, empathy, and time together, you can beat cancer!

About Life

This editorial was provided by Life Healthcare to raise awareness for World Cancer Day. Life is a leading international healthcare provider who believes that there is a lot that families and communities can do to achieve improved outcomes.

Life Healthcare is a global people-centered, diversified healthcare organization listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Life Healthcare has over 38 years’ of experience in the South African private healthcare sector and currently operates 66 healthcare facilities in Southern Africa.

Services include acute hospital care, acute physical rehabilitation, acute mental healthcare, renal dialysis, oncology, imaging, and occupational health and wellness services. The Group owns Alliance Medical Group, the leading independent provider of medical imaging services (MRI, CT and PETCT scans) within Europe. Visit https://www.lifehealthcare.co.za/ or https://alliancemedical.info/

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