The Carer’s Guide
Caring for somebody close to you with cancer can be one of the most stressful and upsetting experiences but it can also be profoundly rewarding and deeply enriching your relationship with the person you are caring for, yourself and life itself.
Your first aim will naturally be to want to be as helpful and effective a carer as possible, and you will find many useful ideas in this guide to help you achieve this. But being able to sustain the carer role will very much depend on how able you are to identify and meet your own needs and get the support and help that you, too, will require. Ultimately your ability to help will depend very much on the degree to which you are able to deal with your own feelings about illness, doctors, hospitals, disability and loss and on how good you become at looking after yourself.
The aim of this Carer’s guide is therefore two-fold:
- to help you be the most effective carer you can be;
- to help you to understand your own reaction and needs, and to plan and source the help you need.
This applies equally to professional carers for whom learning effective self-care is absolutely vital.