I am happy to introduce you to my guest blogger today. Please welcome Scott Sanders of Cancerwell.org. Because, like most people, unfortunately, I personally know of someone who is fighting cancer, I find this blog helopful and want to share it with you. I hope you find it helpful, as well.
How to Make Space for a Loved One Who Is Fighting Cancer
There’s a lot to consider when a family member moves in with you. When it’s a loved one who has cancer, your worries are understandably amplified. From cleaning and sanitizing to organizing and making space, you have a laundry list of steps to take before they come home. Here are ways you can create the ultimate recovery space in your home.
Organize Storage Space for Everyone
Whether you need to clear out a room or make space in the garage for your loved one’s belongings, staying organized is vital.
Of course, if you don’t have a garage, you’ll need another long-term storage option. Adding an outbuilding to your property can help protect your or your family member’s belongings and keep them nearby. Choosing the cheapest option isn’t always the best value, though. Think about what materials to choose — whether steel or wood — and how climate can affect them.
For example, steel has the benefit of being resilient against the elements. However, it can be far more expensive than wood. It also heats up in warmer weather, which could affect your items stored inside. Wood may be less durable, but it’s also more affordable than steel. However, wood doesn’t stand up to weathering as well as other materials. Some wood, like cedar, can resist outdoor conditions better than others, however.
You should establish a budget, then research your area and what materials are most suitable for storing your loved one’s and your own belongings.
Consider Home Care Services
Although you may have the best intentions when choosing to move your family member home for recovery, it can be stressful. Many family members of patients wind up feeling anxious, depressed, helpless, and more when they face caring for their loved one full-time. For everyone’s health and well-being, it can help to seek support.
Cancer.net explains that many types of home care services can help you and your loved ones live fuller lives. Assistance ranges from home health aides who provide nursing care to volunteers who merely sit with the patient so the family can have a break.
Living at home rather than in a facility is often preferable for patients with cancer. Considering in-home help can make the transition easier and less intimidating for everyone involved.
Make Safety and Accessibility Modifications
Depending on your loved one’s health status and mobility level, you may want to add safety features to your home. Side effects from common chemotherapy drugs can include a weak heart, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, poor coordination, and other health issues. In short, the effects of treatment may cause safety challenges at home.
Steps like incorporating grab bars in the restroom or non-slip flooring in the halls can help your family member feel safer and more independent. A shower seat can enhance stability while bathing independently, and a first-floor room means less exertion than climbing stairs.
Think about modifications you can make without renovating your home, but don’t discount the possibility either. Fortunately, many renovations can be low-cost and even DIY.
Give Your Loved One Their Independence (and Privacy)
Undergoing cancer treatment can be stressful, painful, and scary. But it can also be frustrating for a loved one who was formerly independent. For family members with strong personalities, focusing on independence and privacy can help you all live together harmoniously.
Ensuring that your loved one has a say in their moving decision is a good first step. Providing choices for where to store their belongings, how to decorate their room, and what type of home support they have can do wonders for their self-confidence. After all, they’re a person first and a patient second. something many people with cancer want you to recognize.
Studies also suggest that patients who self-manage feel more empowered and confident in their recoveries. Therefore, having a say in medical and other decisions is crucial. Programs like prehabilitation, where patients undergo physical and social training before surgery and treatment, can also help your loved one maintain their strength and independence.
Moving your family member home for cancer recovery is a significant commitment. By working together, you can see them back to good health, and beyond.
Photo via Unsplash
Wishing you all the best!