How Mesothelioma Caregivers can Cope with the Stress

How Mesothelioma Caregivers can Cope with the Stress
How Mesothelioma Caregivers can Cope with the Stress
December 16, 2016

Caregivers of a loved one who is suffering from a serious illness like mesothelioma need to offer them emotional and physical support. This support is strenuous on the caregiver and coping with the stress can be hard for the caregiver on their part. Caregivers need to have realistic expectations on themselves and on the patient.

There can be a miscommunication between the caregiver and the patient

The patients and caregivers can form a team when they express their concerns in a healthy way, but it is not always easy to strike a balance. Emotions can be hard to control and things like frustration and fear can be hard to control; when these emotions rise to a certain level, it may lead to miscommunications between the patients and the caregivers.

Read also: Breaking Bad News to Mesothelioma Victims and Families

Cancer related stress can be difficult to handle

A mesothelioma is a form of cancer which does not spare the patient all the negative effects of cancer. Pleural mesothelioma for example will present itself like common respiratory tract infection on the onset and as time goes on, the patient will begin to experience more bizarre situations including difficulty in breathing as cancer progresses. The subtle changes in the symptoms make it hard to handle cancer stress.

The right tips can help caregivers minimize the stress of mesothelioma

If you are a part of a team of caregivers, you have to realize that all the other caregivers are unique and would have their different perspectives on the same subject matter. Never play the role of the opinionated boss, rather, try to evaluate the strengths, skills and weaknesses of all the other caregivers so that you will know the best place and time they can fit in – for example, you will find that some caregivers may perform better in physical task like running errands for the patient than giving them emotional support.

Read also: The Need for Mesothelioma Patients to Plan Realistic New Year Resolution

Patients should be carried along in discussions regarding their care

The fastest route to a misunderstanding between the patient and their caregivers is that of making assumptions on what you think would be best for the patients without getting them involved in the discussion. Some patients feel comforted when their loved ones step in for them while others prefer to be in control. If the communication gap is not bridged, you may never find out what works best for them.

There is no right or wrong emotion when diagnosed with mesothelioma

Every individual is unique in their own way. Telling a patient who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or their caregivers that they are expressing the wrong emotion or coping wrongly will certainly lead to conflict because everyone has the right to feel the way they want.

Read also: Different Questions You are Expected to Ask Your Mesothelioma Oncologist

The work of caregivers can be made lighter using technology

The role of each caregiver has to be properly communicated and is crucial to their effective output. Also, a caregiver needs the best training to be able to cope with the realities of managing patients. There are numerous online resources available to caregivers for the achievement of the aforementioned purposes.

Caregivers should stop seeing care-giving as a contest

It is wrong for a caregiver to ever think that the quality and quantity of the services they offer their patients is an indication of how much they love their patients. For this reason, they may feel they have to be with their patient at every doctor’s appointment this mentality will wear the caregiver out such that they will find it hard to offer even the minimum care-giving service over time.

Read also: The Necessity of Mesothelioma Patients to Work Closely with an Oncology Dietitian

Article highlights

  • Mesothelioma patients need tremendous emotional support.
  • Too much expectation should not be placed on the victim by the caregiver.
  • It is hard to reach a balance of communication between caregivers and patients.
  • The explosion of emotion is one thing that no one can master.
  • The stress of a mesothelioma patient increases as cancer progresses.
  • Caregivers working as a team should respect each other.
  • Each caregiver should find their strength and fit in.
  • Patients should be a part of decision making process since the outcome will have a direct effect on them.
  • Every patient will react to the same situation in a different way.
  • Caregivers should never feel as if they are in a contest.

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