Caring for Someone Without Losing Your Own Well-Being

Nov 13, 2014
Tagged with: Caring for Someone Without Losing Your Own Well-Being

 

Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium – a membrane that lines and surrounds the organs. The disease is caused by exposure to asbestos, and it is actually called malignant mesothelioma to differentiate it from the benign version, which is not caused by asbestos.

Malignant mesothelioma is a serious illness and people with the disease often need long-term care as the disease progresses. If you are the family member, or loved one, of a person with malignant mesothelioma, you might also be responsible for providing some or all of that care.

The task of caring for someone with mesothelioma, or any terminal illness, can be overwhelming. Not only are you responsible for several tasks related to your loved one’s care, you also have to deal with the emotional impact of a serious illness. The whole process can take its toll on your loved one, and on you as well. But there are ways to cope so that you can give your loved one the care he needs, and still take care of yourself.

Join a Support Group

Illness can be isolating, and when things get really serious it can feel like you are the only person on Earth in your shoes. Joining a support group reminds you that you aren’t alone. They can also be an excellent source of information about mesothelioma, including new treatments and home remedies that can help relieve the symptoms. If there is a joint group for mesothelioma patients and their families, then everyone can all go at once, which can be a powerful bonding experience.

Get Counseling

Support groups can relieve your sense of isolation, but they can’t necessarily help you cope with the anger, guilt and pain you may feel as you deal with your loved one’s illness – especially if that anger, guilt, and pain is directed at your loved one. It’s only natural to feel a host of negative emotions surrounding a serious illness. You might even blame your loved one for getting sick, even though you may understand that many cases of mesothelioma were caused by people getting exposed to asbestos in the workplace without their knowledge. Going into counseling will give you a safe place to vent your anger, and other negative emotions, so that you don’t take them out on your loved one.

A psychologist, or psychiatrist, can also give you tools to help you cope and relax, such as breathing exercises, mental exercises, and even medication if necessary.

Take Care of Your Own Health

It’s easy to let things slide when we are taking care of others. We don’t eat as well, we don’t sleep as much, and we may even forget to do little things like bathe or brush our teeth. As frivolous, and even selfish, as some of those activities may seem, they are also crucial to our overall health and can affect the way we take care of our loved ones.

Take the time to take care of yourself, even if all it means is setting aside fifteen minutes each morning to take a shower and brush your teeth, or stocking the freezer with healthy frozen meals that you can heat up and eat in minutes. If you let your own health slide, you won’t be well enough to care for your loved one

Take a Break

This is actually an extension of taking care of your own health.

No one can be on all the time, and those who try usually crash and burn pretty fast. Your loved one needs you to be strong, not just for them but for yourself as well. Taking a break will let you recharge your batteries so that you can come back refreshed and ready to help them.

This doesn’t mean that you should run off for a week to Tahiti, but even hiring a home nurse for a few hours while you get your hair done, or retreat to your room to binge watch your favorite TV show, can work wonders.

Keep in mind that your loved one might need a break as well. There is a point where a sick room can feel like a death bed. Instead of giving yourself a day out, you could schedule an outing for your loved one, such as a trip to an adult day care, or an outing to the park with a nurse.

 

Author: Nayab Sh



  • bobl07

    I lost a relative who was a care attendant because they did not take of their own health. Thanks for the tips.

  • Holly Murs

    As caregivers look after the wellbeing of other people, it is equally
    important that they take care of themselves too. These four tips are practical
    and effective ways to help them do so.

    This article is handy and vital to caregivers, so we decided to feature
    it in our Weekly Digest. We hope that more caregivers become aware of the
    simple things they can do to look after their own wellbeing. You can read it
    here http://www.ltcoptions.com/weekly-digest-estate-planning-geriatrics-elder-law/.

  • bobl07

    Thank you for your comments.