Cancer caregivers find themselves amidst a cancer journey with little to no training – something that can often be overwhelming when one takes into consideration the many challenges and varying emotions that they face every day, especially when it is a parent caring for a child with cancer.
Cancer caregivers are truly an under-served population. Many caregivers have little or no background or training for caring for someone with cancer, and find themselves thrust into caring for a cancer patient without adequate information or understanding of the disease – this is even truer when the patient is one’s child.
Caregivers want to make informed decisions that will lead to improved quality of life for their patient, but without resources, education or training often times feel they are not qualified to perform the tasks required of them. This leads to increased levels of stress and anxiety. In addition, many caregivers also have careers, children, spouses and community obligations and feel pulled in multiple directions without enough hours in the day.
The Raymond Foundation came up with a plan to help – it has just released the Cancer Caregiver Action Plan.
The Cancer Caregiver Action Plan was developed based on conversations with fellow caregivers who asked for a way to ‘pay it forward’ – a way to help other caregivers by providing real world perspective and insight into the caregiver journey. Throughout the Action Plan you’ll see their stories and words of encouragement illustrating practical advice to help make the caregiving experience a little easier.
The Cancer Caregiver Action Plan was developed to serve as a workbook for every individual’s needs and is comprised of two chapters:
- Emotional support and information to help meet the needs of caregivers; and
- Practical information regarding the patient experience, and ideas to help caregivers manage multiple tasks.
The first chapter provides resources and information to help caregivers prioritize their own self-care and well-being throughout the cancer journey. Information and resources such as building a caregiver support team, enhanced understanding of the many emotions that caregivers face, and ideas to help improve overall quality of life.
The second chapter provides resources and information for caregivers to help manage the multiple tasks involved in caring for the patient, including tracking treatment side effects, managing medications and oral therapies, and strategies for becoming an empowered advocate on behalf of the patient.
“Caregivers know first-hand what their unmet needs are, and we are honoured to offer a platform and resource to help caregivers ‘pay it forward’ “The Raymond Foundation
Caregivers can visit theraymondfoundation.org to find the Cancer Caregiver Action Plan.