Tips for Mesothelioma Caregivers
If you are new to caregiving, or if you’re feeling burnt out, the following tips can help you manage your stress — and your loved one’s health — more effectively.
Prepare for Caregiving
After your loved one has a confirmed mesothelioma diagnosis, ask their doctor about what your role will be as a caregiver. A mesothelioma doctor can give you a better idea of how to prepare and how you can help.
Additionally, becoming educated on your loved one’s condition can help you know what to expect as you serve in this caregiving role.
You can learn about mesothelioma from the:
- American Cancer Society
- American Lung Association
- Mayo Clinic
- National Cancer Institute
- National Organization for Rare Disorders
Join a Mesothelioma Support Group
A mesothelioma support group brings you together with other mesothelioma patients and caregivers. These groups also provide a safe place where you can speak about your emotions and challenges.
Mesothelioma caregiver support groups meet:
- Over the phone
In-person groups can be found by speaking to an oncologist (cancer doctor), while online groups are available on social media sites like Facebook.
The importance of self-care cannot be stressed enough as you support someone with cancer. By caring for yourself, you can recharge and, in turn, provide more effective assistance to your loved one.
Ways practice self-care as a mesothelioma caregiver include:
- Exercising regularly
- Finding time to relax
- Following a regular schedule
- Maintaining a social life
- Understanding your feelings
You can also reach out to a mental health professional who can help you understand your emotions and cope with the experience.
“Your own health and safety must come first if you want to keep helping your loved one.”
– The American Cancer Society
Ask for Help From Others
The American Cancer Society (ACS) strongly encourages mesothelioma caregivers to work with friends, family, and even professionals to see if they can take on a portion of your caregiving duties. There is no shame in getting help.
For example, you can ask a trusted relative or friend to pick up groceries or do other household tasks while you take your loved one to a doctors’ appointment. You can also look into getting an in-home nurse or aide if you can’t provide full-time care.
If you have questions as you care for someone with mesothelioma, we can help. Call a Patient Advocate at (888) 360-4215 to get connected to experienced nurses and other care providers.