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Family caregiving burden; the effect of supporting someone with cancer

Mar 30, 2024

Family caregivers are often the primary source of support for cancer patients and play a crucial role in how well patients manage their illness including dealing with the diagnosis, managing decisions around treatment and it's effects, and the emotional rollercoast people experience living with cancer. 

Caring for a family member experiencing cancer is a major chronic stressor posing significant psychological, behavioural, economic and occupational burdens on the caregivers daily quality of life, health, and well-being. 

Caregivers are at higher risk of developing comorbidities e.g., anxiety, depression, and post-trauma stress symptoms, which have been found to substantially increase when a patient's condition worsens e.g., during times of relapse or during terminal stages. 

When things get overwhelming for family caregivers there's often little room for self-care and self-nurturing to take time out for recognising the signs that they need help since all their energies are focused on their loved one who are perceived to be in more need than they are.

Having good strategies in place to replenish, energise, relax, create clear boundaries, get a good work-life-social balance, reach out for help either professionally or at home, be assertive when things get too much, sleep and eat well, and keep hydrated, will all reduce the risk of caregiver burnout.

Recovery from Post-trauma Stress
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