Caregivers: The "Unsung Heroes" in the World of Lung Cancer

It is important that caregivers for patients with lung cancer take care of themselves and ask for help when needed. This will ultimately make them better able to care for their loved ones.
BY BRIELLE URCIUOLI @Brielle_U
PUBLISHED: JANUARY 02, 2017
Caregivers for patients with lung cancer have a litany of responsibilities that may sometimes become overwhelming. However, there are resources – both online and in-person – that can help support and educate caregivers.
 
“Caregivers are extremely important in the survivorship of patients. They’re the unsung heroes, taking on many different roles and responsibilities,” Katie Brown, vice president of the Support and Survivorship programs at LUNGevity, said.
 
Brown knows first-hand the whirlwind of responsibilities that come with being a caregiver. She was a caregiver to her father who had a late-stage lung cancer diagnosis, while she was also a mother to a small child, working full-time and attending school part-time.
 
The day-to-day responsibilities of a caregiver of a loved one with cancer may vary for each individual, but most caregivers help with doctor appointments, household and financial responsibilities and physical aspects of the disease, all while offering emotional support. This can be time-consuming and sometimes emotionally draining, Brown said, emphasizing how important it is for caregivers to have outside support.
 
“If you know someone who is a caregiver, definitely make yourself available,” Brown said. “Keep offering to help, and remember to show up, whether it’s something so simple as lending an ear so he or she can vent or buying them lunch.”
 
When it comes to caregivers supporting themselves and their loved one with cancer, staying as informed as possible is key, according to Anita Logsdon, R.N., B.S.N., O.S.N., treatment suite nurse at Oncology Hematology Care.
 


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