Learning How to Help a Loved One Living with Cancer

diverse group of women supporting breast cancer
Dakota Home Care can help you learn how to best help a loved one living with cancer.

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is life-changing, and making sure you have a network of support is vital. You may feel uncertain about how to best assist someone you love living with cancer without breaking boundaries or making them feel uncomfortable. What can you do to best assist someone you love through a cancer diagnosis? Our experts in home care have some guidelines to get you started.

  1. Determine what specific things they need. Oftentimes, a person living with cancer or any other chronic health condition will hear from well-intended family and friends, “Let me know if I can help!” It’s then up to the person struggling with their diagnosis to figure out what’s needed, and to contact those who offered with ways to help. You can be proactive and find out exactly what will most help the person. On one day, they may wish for help with doing dishes, vacuuming, and laundry, while another day they may really need some healthy meals prepared or just someone to talk to for a welcome distraction.
  2. Offer appropriate meals. Cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can bring on fatigue, so preparing meals can be challenging. These treatments can also impact how food tastes. Ask the person what types of foods might be appealing, and then prepare meals for them accordingly. Recognize that it may take some trial and error to find what is most palatable.
  3. Be present. Being there to talk, listen, or even offer a joke when appropriate can be beneficial to somebody who wants to live their life as normally as possible regardless of their diagnosis.
  4. Advocate. Help the person organize any questions and concerns in advance of their next doctor’s appointment. If they wish, attend the appointment with them and help make sure each issue is resolved.
  5. Learn as much as you can. Educate yourself on the type of cancer the person has been diagnosed with to better comprehend what they are dealing with. Look up information online from reliable resources like Johns Hopkins or the Mayo Clinic.

As the top home care agency in Fargo, Lincoln, Bismarck, Mandan, and the surrounding areas, Dakota Home Care is here to help those with cancer live more comfortable lives at home. Contact us online for more information and resources, or to request a free in-home consultation to learn more about how we can help with our home care services.

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