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Taking care of a family member or a friend with mesothelioma can be an overwhelming ordeal. A survey on caregivers revealed that they experienced 15 mentally unhealthy days every month as a result. Given the severity of the condition, caregivers might need to help patients with:
- Personal hygiene activities
- Medication schedules
- Managing finances, among others
Read on to get more tips on how to care for mesothelioma patients.
Provide Emotional Support
Patients with mesothelioma need a lot of emotional support since most of them are overcome with sadness and grief. Accepting the fact that one has cancer takes time, and it needs companionship from loved ones.
On their bad days, people with mesothelioma need someone to listen to their concerns, show them they are loved, and offer some advice. Seeing people giving them the much-needed support helps them handle the punches of the illness.
Encourage Them to Join a Support Group
A support group is essential for any mesothelioma patient to give them as much support as possible. It’s not a caregiver’s responsibility to offer the necessary support because they are also affected emotionally. Try to reach out to a team of people from the extended family, neighbors, and friends.
You may also want to join support teams within the community that support critically ill patients and caregivers. Holding talks with others who understand the situation helps you feel more comfortable and less isolated.
Assist with Daily Living
People diagnosed with cancer still need to do some daily activities. Sadly, their health status may not allow them to accomplish them. They need assistance while eating, dressing, sitting, and walking. Additionally, as a caregiver, you will have to maintain all their medical records, organize appointments, and update their physician.
Manage Treatment’s Side Effects
Managing the symptoms and side effects caused by mesothelioma helps patients feel more comfortable. Caregivers should be in constant communication with the oncologist to inform them about any Side effects. The sooner they address them, the faster therapies or medications can be administered.
If the patient needs a surgical operation, it will take a longer recovery time, usually four to eight weeks or even a year. They will have general body weakness, fatigue, and muscle weakness.
Cancer patients need a healthy diet with good nutrition. Caregivers should ensure that they feed them with foods rich in proteins and calories. The former helps the body to repair and recover faster while the latter provides energy.
You can increase protein levels through mixing powdered and full fat milk or adding diced meat to soups, omelets, and casseroles. You can also add some cheese to salads, sandwiches, and soups. For calories, you can add some eggs to sandwiches and casseroles while also cooking with coconut oil or butter.
Help Them Exercise
Generally, cancer patients are usually tired. To counteract this, caregivers can involve them in some gentle exercises to maintain their flexibility, mobility, energy, and stamina. Any movement is important such as having a walk around the house or the block, depending on a patient’s health status. If they were used to a fitness routine before the illness, they could maintain some light exercise within their new limits.
Caring for mesothelioma patients comes with various challenges, but implementing the above tips can offer better support to a loved one. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of the illness, and it may take time to detect. It limits treatment options, which also raises medical care costs.
You need to consult a mesothelioma lawyer to determine whether you can file an asbestos lawsuit for compensation. The settlement can help you recover your cancer-related damages.