Becoming a Caregiver for a Loved One With Late-Stage Cancer
When an individual has been diagnosed with late-stage cancer or another advanced stage illness, the best option for their care may be for a family member to step in as their primary caregiver. However, it can be hard to know how to support someone with cancer in the family and what to expect when becoming a family caregiver.
While responsibilities vary from family to family and person to person, there are some common responsibilities that most family caregivers can expect:
- Assisting with personal care. This can include assisting with bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting, and exercise.
- Basic food preparation, including meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking.
- Health care, including administering medication, scheduling doctor’s visits, and liaising with the healthcare team.
- Mobility assistance, such as going for a walk, getting in and out of bed, and getting in and out of a vehicle.
- Transportation to and from medical appointments, social gatherings, and other activities.
- Financial planning, including medical bills, everyday expenses, and estate planning.
- Companionship, or just being there to talk and provide emotional support.
- Home organization, including house cleaning.
Making Time for Self-Care
The many responsibilities involved in becoming a caregiver for a family member can take their toll, from the physical exertion of helping a loved one move around to the mental stress of keeping track of their finances and treatment plan. Watching a loved one go through treatment for late-stage cancer can be a significant source of emotional distress and can have many hidden costs. Reducing one’s hours at work, taking family leave, or retiring early to become a family caregiver can also result in lost income and subsequent financial stress.
That’s why it’s so important for family caregivers to make time for themselves—to visit with friends, go out to a movie or a restaurant, hit the gym, go to their own doctor’s appointments, and otherwise enjoy a respite from the constant physical, mental, and emotional stress of caregiving.
Cost of Care for Late-Stage Cancer
There are also options for addressing financial stress of late-stage cancer. Since 2007, Fifth Season Financial has helped families reduce their financial burdens through its Funds for Living Program, which allows individuals to receive an advance on their life insurance policies while still maintaining funds for beneficiaries to receive in the future. If Fifth Season can help you and your family as you navigate becoming a family caregiver, contact us today or call the toll-free number at (866) 459-1271.