Hi all, Wanted to get some of your thoughts as to how you organize your home life with your caregiver. i.e. meals, cleaning, making sure your caregiver is taking care of themselves, etc… My caregiver is my husband and I want to ensure that he doesn't get overwhelmed taking care of me and the house! What has worked for you?
@Jo T sorry I cant tag you. How thoughtful you to post on behalf of your husband! I would say the best way to do this is to ask for help. Get others involved in meals prep, grocery deliveries, sending a cleaning service if possible…you will be happily surprised how many people want to help out !!!!how are YOU doing?
@Jo T Hello…..to ensure your husband does not burn out……I suggest “talk with him”….ask, would you like a regular day/afternoon/morning, just to yourself? prefer to wing it?
If his forte is cooking….treat him, buy ordering in…..use paper plates; no dishes to be washed……suggest he gets outdoors, daily, to get exercise and fresh air…..perhaps he would like a “boys night out?”
Perhaps if another family member, can come over….to be close to you…..he will feel more “able” to get out/no guilt….
Simple things, work bests.
Wishing you strength and more……and hope your husband knows how much you care, for his well being.
I also vote for letting other people help. In hindsight that was our mistake. I got burned out, and I think other people felt left out. They would have liked to help.
@JoT how lovely your post was for you darling hubby. As a caregiver I would say accept help. Everyone wants to help but has no idea how. When you ask for specific help with travel to appointments, groceries, coming to visit, whatever you need, people will jump at the chance.
He needs to know what your wants and needs are when you need help. I act as the traffic controller based on Steven’s physical and emotional health. That may be please don’t stop by he’s tired, a heads up to some when he needs a friend or a shoulder to cry on, or whatever the case may be.
Make sure he keeps his connections to his friends and loved ones. It is important that he makes the time to do the things he enjoys, finds some time for himself and keeps his people around him. It’s so easy to get lost in all of this.
He will start to hear are you practicing self care. I sometimes coach people when they say this to me. I adore by hubby and looking after his care and knowing he’s alright is part of my self care. I also take time to walk, chat with friends, cross stitch, or my other favorite pastimes. He needs to be prepared for the question as people will worry for him too.
I took the time to speak with my circle and guide them as to how they could help me emotionally. I wasn’t looking for medical advice or commentary about how everything was going to be okay. We had wonderful conversations and their support is invaluable.
I also give our immediate group the heads up that we love them even though we may not answer the phone, an email or a text. Sometimes we just need to absorb things on our own before we have the bandwidth to loop in with others.
Not sure if you have surgery ahead of you but if they offer nursing care, jump at the chance. The folks that visit are incredible!
Keep hugging, laugh when you can, talk often and openly and share all the good the bad and the difficult. Sometimes you will be his patient but you are always the love of his life, his safe space and the centre of his world. On days you’re not okay he will want to love and support you to make it better. Sometimes he will and othertimes he won’t. Us caregivers may struggle with that to and somedays he may just be really sad. Know it’s okay and a better day will come tomorrow.
And tell him to visit us here. The care and support is incredible and people always seem to know just the right thing you need.
Sending you both a virtual hug, Nicky
OH YA: a cancer diagnosis definitely affects the entire household!
I was caregiver for my spouse when he was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer 20+ years ago, and more recently became a cancer patient myself in 2020. I can honestly say being a caregiver was the tougher gig.
I felt exhausted ALL THE TIME while caregiving.
looking back I would do as others suggest and share the burden a little.
one habit we instituted was making dinner time ‘no cancer’ hour. we didn't talk about it, worry about it, or let it interrupt our one hour of the day.
good luck to you and your hubby. make sure that he has support outside the home. there is a robust caregivers forum in this community if he would be interested in that.
thank you for realizing that your support may need support.