Support for Patients, Family Members, and Caregivers
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Challenges of Caregiving

Caring for others can create a mixture of emotions, from feelings of love and support to anger, frustration and grief. While caregiving takes a lot of mental, physical and emotional energy and is associated with high stress and depression, it's also associated with feelings of satisfaction and gratification.

Whether you are a new caregiver or an experienced one, there are some aspects of the job that are more difficult than others. As a caregiver, many of the day-to-day issues that used to be your loved one's responsibility are now yours. This can be range from mowing the lawn to working your way through health insurance issues. No matter what the challenge, any new experience may bring added stress.

Financial Planning and Paying Bills

Probably the biggest challenge of being a caregiver is dealing with the finances, especially if the patient was the breadwinner. When tasked with this job, the best thing to do is turn to a professional. An attorney or financial planner will help you find the best fiscal path for your family.

Legal and Financial Overhaul

Now is the time to take a close look at your finances. Can you afford to pay for your day-to-day expenses? Can other family members contribute? Would it be more beneficial to hire a home health aide and go back to work? All of these questions and more should be addressed.

Also, be sure to write a detailed accounting of your expenses, assets and other financial benefits to get a clearer picture of your overall financial health. With the help of a financial planner you can develop a system for paying bills and keeping costs down. Since you will be handling so many other caregiving responsibilities, it may be best to assign the financial management to another trustworthy family member or friend.

Health Insurance Issues

Health insurance issues can be befuddling for even the healthiest of people, so it makes sense that your health insurance matters could be challenging. Again, it's time to turn to the professionals. While this may mean long phone calls, insurance companies are usually willing to discuss difficulties to make sure the patients and caregivers fully understand. Another good source for information about your health insurance problems is your doctor's office. Usually physician's offices have at least one person solely dedicated to dealing with insurance issues. This person can be a great source of information.

Finding support

No matter what the problem, all caregivers need sources of support. Caregiving can be an isolating and stressful job. In fact, one of the most stressful parts of being a caregiver is a lack of support. Many caregivers enter the role without training and think they must deny themselves to help the patient. Caregivers must strike a delicate balance of helping the patient while helping themselves. There are several ways a caregiver can get information for help:

Read About It

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation copy of our exclusive book written just for caregivers, Lean On Me - Cancer Through a Carer's Eyes by Lorraine Kember. This book is aimed at giving caregivers a clear, unadulterated view of caregiving.

Turn to the Internet

Even though there are many sites on the Internet that are not trustworthy, many sites offer sound advice and support, including mesotheliomasurvivors.org. Our professionals want to ensure that the mesothelioma patient and caregivers are well cared for and feel supported.

Call Family And Friends

Now is the time to turn to family and friends for love and support. While they may not be able to answer your technical questions about health insurance or financial planning, family and friends offer a great outlet for emotions and love.

Sources:

  1. American Cancer Society. Caregivers -- Being a Caregiver. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/treatment/caregivers/caregiving/index
  2. DeSmet, Nicole Higgins. “Advice for Caregivers of Relatives With Cancer.” The New York Times. 2013. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/booming/caregiving-advice-for-a-family-member-with-cancer.html?_r=0
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