Table of Contents:
- Learn About Prostate Cancer
- Organize Care at Home
- Take Care of Legal and Financial Issues
- Take Care of Yourself
You have a wide range of responsibilities while caring for a loved one who has advanced prostate cancer. You’ll probably get involved with everything from medical appointments to emotional support, health insurance, and even keeping the doctors, family, and friends updated.
It’s a lot to process, but with proper planning, the tasks can be simpler to manage and you’ll be able to get the support you need.
Learn About Prostate Cancer
Find out everything you can concerning your loved one’s condition. Accompany their doctor visits with them and don’t hesitate to take notes.
Come prepared with questions regarding your concerns. Assure to be precise and clear. For example, discuss the treatment’s side effects or the symptoms to anticipate.
Furthermore, inquire for the most up-to-date and effective treatments available for prostate cancer.
Organize Care at Home
Setting priorities is important. Put a task on hold if it is not an urgent matter.
Consider how much time and energy you should devote to caring for someone. You’ll need assistance. First, check with your family and friends. Try employing a home health nurse if you can bear the expenses. These trained professionals provide patients with a range of tasks, such as assisting a bath and managing more complex procedures and checkups. They may also be able to guide you about how to accomplish difficult tasks.
Take Care of Legal and Financial Issues
Encourage your loved one to fill out an advance health directive. This document does two things. It lets the doctor know, in writing, how much medical intervention your loved one wants to extend their life. Plus, it assigns an “agent," a person to make their wishes known if they can no longer communicate.
You can get an advance health directive from the hospital or the doctor. A doctor who is familiar with your loved one’s health, or a hospital social worker, can help with the form.
Also help your loved one get a financial power of attorney. Like the advance health directive, this document appoints someone to handle their financial affairs if they are no longer able.
Take Care of Yourself
Prevent caregiver burnout by taking the following measure. You’ll need support. Also, taking some time off for yourself may be beneficial. In one survey, caregivers stated “moving away from things for a little while" as the most effective way to relieve tension.
Joining a community group may help you find someone who feels connected to your path of experience because they are also caregivers.
Remember that in order to be at your best with your loved one, you must take care of your own needs as well.
Referenced on 10.4.2021
- Bonnie Teschendorf, PhD, former director of Quality of Life, Cancer Control Science Department, American Cancer Society.
- American Society of Clinical Oncology.