If your spouse, parent, partner, or any other significant person in your life has recently been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you’ve suddenly been thrust into an entirely different world and face decisions you likely never thought you’d have to make. Among the most important of these is what role you will play in your loved one’s care. Making the decision to be the primary caregiver is an enormous responsibility, as you will be the person helping them with both their daily life and their at-home medical needs. It’s important that you understand what the role entails so that you can provide everything your loved one needs.
As the caregiver for a patient diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, your role begins as soon as their illness has been confirmed. You should be present at all meeting and consider yourself an integral part of the care team, as it will likely be you that is ensuring that your loved one is compliant and that the physicians’ orders are being followed. This is especially true as hospitals become more aggressive in discharging patients. Shorter hospital stays and the availability of outpatient treatment mean that more and more care is administered at home. The upside of this is that the patient will be more comfortable in familiar surroundings and is likely to get more rest: the downside is that it places more responsibility on your shoulders, as you will be providing medication, preparing meals, coordinating insurance payments, and providing support to the patient. You’ll be the person responsible for reporting any physical changes that you observe to the patient’s care team, all the while dealing with your own emotions and responses to watching your loved one struggle with a terminal and painful disease. The challenges of being a caregiver for a mesothelioma patient should not be underestimated.
If you are providing care and support to a patient diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, don’t forget about taking care of yourself too. For access to valuable resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.