How to Assist a Loved One After a Cancer Diagnosis

Being given a cancer diagnosis is life-altering, and making sure you have a network of support is vital. When someone you love is going through cancer treatment, you might feel unclear about how to best help the person without overstepping boundaries or causing them to feel uncomfortable for any reason. What should you do to best provide relief for someone you love after a cancer diagnosis? Our home care experts have some ideas to get you started.

  1. Inquire to find out exactly what they need. In many cases, a person with cancer or some other chronic condition will hear from well-intended family and friends, “Let me know if you need anything!” It’s then up to the person struggling with their diagnosis to figure out what’s needed, and to get in touch with those who offered with ways to help. You can be proactive and find out just what will most help the person. On one day, they may want help with doing dishes, vacuuming, and laundry, while another day they may really need some healthy meals prepared or just someone to talk to for a welcome distraction. 
  2. Provide appropriate meals. Treatments for cancer like radiation and chemotherapy can bring on exhaustion, so preparing meals can be difficult. These kinds of treatments can also impact how food tastes. Ask the person what foods might be appealing, and then make meals for them accordingly. Understand that it may take some trial and error to find what is most palatable. 
  3. Learn as much as you can. Educate yourself on the kind of cancer the person has been diagnosed with to better comprehend what they are facing. Search online for trusted sources such as Johns Hopkins or the Mayo Clinic.  
  4. Advocate. Help the person document any questions and concerns in advance of their next doctor’s appointment. If they would like, attend the appointment with them and help make sure each issue is addressed. 
  5. Be there. Merely being on hand to talk, listen, and even share humor with the person when appropriate can be helpful to somebody who wants to live life as normally as possible, regardless of their diagnosis. 

As the top provider of home care in Laurinburg, Rockingham, Raeford, and the surrounding areas, Carolina Hearts Home Care is here to help those with cancer live more comfortable lives at home. Reach out to us for more information and resources, or to request a free in-home consultation to find out more about how we can help.