Posted 2 years ago
Caring for a Loved One
Caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with cancer can be stressful and overwhelming. It can be difficult to work, maintain the household, and ensure your loved one gets to all respective appointments and treatments. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has added additional stress as caregivers are no longer permitted to be present during appointments and/or in the treatment room. This lack of information directly from medical professionals can lead to increased stress and anxiety related to your loved one’s care.
Rule #1 of Caregiving:
You must first take care of yourself! Think back to when a flight attendant tells you to secure your oxygen mask prior to helping others. Same concept. If you are neglecting your own health, not eating and/or sleeping, how will you be able to fully ensure that your loved one is able to receive the care that they need?
The biggest thing to remember is that you do NOT have to do it alone. If you have a support system that is offering to help, utilize them. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. There are some resources/supports that can assist you in caring for your loved one if they are struggling with maintaining their activities of daily living (ADLs), experiencing difficulty ambulating, etc. If you have questions regarding what might be available for you and your loved one, please remember that Ironwood has two Licensed Master Social Workers who are able to assist and provide additional information in this regard.
We’re Here to Help
If you need emotional support as you navigate caregiving, Ironwood has a Caregiver’s Support Group that is held on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 10 am-12 pm. This is the one group that is exclusively for caregivers so we do ask that you make arrangements for your patient if necessary. For more information on the group, please contact Supportive Care Services: 480-314-6660.
About Jessica Wells
About The Author, Jessica Wells, LMSW
Jessica is a Licensed Master Social Worker who graduated from Arizona State University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2011. Jessica also received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies from Arizona State University.
She has 12 years of experience in the following sectors: child welfare, general pediatrics, pediatric intensive care, pediatric hematology/oncology, and the acute mental health/behavioral healthcare setting.
About Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers
Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers (ICRC) is the largest multi-specialty oncology network in the Greater Metro Phoenix area. They have over 100 medical providers, a robust Integrative Services program and a dedicated clinical research department. Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers has 15 valley locations and five comprehensive cancer care centers that offer a multi-disciplinary approach for expedited personalized patient care. For more information, please visit www.ironwoodcrc.com.