September 14, 2010

When cancer attacks, it affects everyone around it. According to St Louis home health care experts, many deal daily with the physical, mental and emotional burdens that come with cancer and cancer care. Often, the best defense for cancer patients and those caring for cancer patients is a strong support system.

The easiest and often best gift a caregiver can give to someone with cancer is communication. There are no right or wrong ways of communicating and often just having a caregiver be there, perhaps giving a hug or holding hands, is enough to show the loved one that they care. Caregivers should be prepared for their loved one to talk about the illness if he or she chooses, and more than anything else, be ready to lend an open ear. A lot of the most awkward gaps in communication are due to not knowing a few of the simple rules which help people to talk freely. The following tips can help:

•   Get the setting right: sit down, get comfortable and try to look relaxed
•   Find out whether the person who is ill wants to talk
•   Listen and show that you are listening
•   Encourage the person with cancer to talk
•   Use silence and non-verbal communication
•   Don’t be afraid of describing your own feelings
•   Make sure that you haven’t misunderstood
•   Don’t change the subject
•   Don’t give advice unless you are asked
•   Respond to humor
•   Allow your loved one to be sad or upset

If you have any questions or would like to speak with St Louis home health care provider, Continuum further about preparations for caring for someone with cancer at home, please call us at (314) 863-9912.