In case you missed it, November was National Family Caregivers Month. Caregiving is a challenging 24/7 job that can create anxiety when managing time and resources. It is also rewarding to see the positive impact you make on your loved one’s life and health. We encourage you to get involved in the caregiver community with the Meso Foundation’s Facebook support group and/or with our telephone support group. If you are a caregiver and are interested in participating in our support services, please email Jadmin Mostel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is a recap of some resources we mentioned throughout November:
Caring for the Caregiver – Caring for yourself is a priority as a caregiver. It is all-too-easy to experience burn out and feel overwhelmed when caring for a loved one. This resource defines caregiving and gives some tips on caring for yourself.
Pain Management – Keeping track of your loved one’s treatment side effects and disease symptoms in one place can prove difficult. This is a journal created to help track your loved one’s medications, any pain or discomfort, date, location of discomfort, and type of symptoms experienced.
Planning Care Management – As a caregiver, your do-to list may appear infinite. Organizing medications, scheduling your loved one’s appointments, and planning your own activities is a lot to keep track of. This resource provides tips on how to manage your seemingly endless list of tasks, and to stay focused.
Handling the Holidays – As a caregiver, handling the holidays may evoke anxiety. Depending on your loved one’s symptoms and treatment, you may be faced with altering tradition to better fit the needs of your loved one’s abilities. This resource provides some tips for navigating the holiday season.
Talking with Family and Friends: Feeling Isolated – After diagnosis, many caregivers and patients feel as if some friends and family begin to shy away from interaction. Feelings of isolation and rejection can be hurtful, and this resource examines some reasons why these individuals seem to separate themselves from your lives.
Best Tips – We compiled a list of some helpful tips accumulated from online resources and conversations we hear in the community.
Video: Your Journey Together (Part 1) – This video, from the LUNGevity Foundation, discusses tips for transitioning into the caregiver role. This video is made by caregivers for caregivers, and talks about the different steps to take once a loved one is diagnosed.
Video: Your Journey Together (Part 2) – Taking care of yourself is extremely important, and this video from the LUNGevity Foundation gives tips from caregivers to caregivers about making that time for yourself.
Article: Caregiving While Working– Navigating a balance between work and caregiving can be extremely challenging. This article from AARP discusses the many different facets of traversing caregiving while working with limited time.
For more information and resources for caregivers of loved ones with mesothelioma, visit curemeso.org/caregivers.