Tips for Supporting a Loved One with Cancer

Supporting a loved one with cancer doesn’t have to be complicated.

A diagnosis of cancer is life-changing, and it’s crucial for someone receiving this diagnosis to have a strong network of support. When a family member is undergoing cancer treatment, you might not be sure how to help them while maintaining appropriate boundaries. What are the best ways for supporting a loved one with cancer? Our caregiving team has some helpful ideas to get you started.

  1. Be there. Simply being present, to listen, talk, and even share humor with the person when it’s appropriate, can go a long way towards helping the person maintain a sense of normalcy in spite of their diagnosis.
  2. Prepare meals. Treatments for cancer such as chemo and radiation can be draining, making it difficult to plan and prepare meals. These treatments can also affect the taste of food. Ask the person what types of foods they feel are most palatable, and then prepare meals for them accordingly. Realize that it could take some trial and error to discover what is most appetizing for them.
  3. Ask specific questions about what is needed. In many cases, someone with cancer or another health concern will receive a generic offer from friends and family members, such as, “Just let me know what you need!” The person then has to not only figure out what they need, but then contact those who offered and tell them exactly what they need. Be proactive to find out specifically what will most help the person. This may vary from day to day, from help with laundry or shopping to satisfying a craving for a certain meal to just doing a puzzle together or playing a game as a welcome distraction.
  4. Gain education. Learn as much as you can about the type of cancer the person has been diagnosed with so you can better understand what they are dealing with. Search online for trusted resources like Johns Hopkins or the Mayo Clinic.
  5. Be the person’s advocate. Help your family member compile any questions and concerns before their next doctor’s appointment. If they are comfortable with the idea, offer to attend the appointment with them and help ensure that each issue is addressed.

As a top provider of in-home care services in Provo, Harmony Home Health & Hospice is here to help individuals with cancer live their most comfortable lives at home. Contact us online or call 877-463-3322  for more information and resources, or to schedule a free consultation to learn about how our in-home senior care in Provo and nearby areas can help.