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Remembering Cynthia

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CARE FOR THE FAMILY/FRIEND CAREGIVER

I don't know where this comes from. If you do, please let me know so that I can attribute it!

You are giving physical and emotional care to a cancer patient. The following list is meant as a reminder that caregivers themselves deserve good care.

  • Take the time to care for yourself. Follow the Golden Rule for caregivers: DO UNTO YOURSELF AS CAREFULLY AND AS KINDLY AS YOU DO UNTO YOUR PATIENT.
  • Try to emphasize "I WOULD LIKE TO..." instead of acting always according to "I should..." and "I have to..."
  • Realize that at times it is normal to feel helpless and frustrated, and that such feelings should not make you feel guilty or ashamed.
  • Be able to say "no" as well as "yes".
  • Believe it is more effective to change the way you behave with others rather than trying to change their behaviour and reactions to you.
  • Have at least one special person to turn to as a source of support, reassurance and direction.
  • Be able to accept as well as give support, encouragement and praise.
  • Have a "quiet place" where you can enjoy a special interest - reading, music, gardening, sewing, etc.
  • Make use of it on a REGULAR basis because you deserve "time off", and you need to rally your own emotional energy.
  • Believe that caring and just "being there" are sometimes more important than doing.
  • Even though a person you love is seriously ill, laughter and play area part of being alive; try to make them a part of the patient's life, and YOURS.
  • Find positive ways to deal with feelings of anger, frustration and grief.
  • At the end of each evening, deliberately go over the experiences of the day and find at least one good moment

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