Thursday, June 11, 2015

Caring for the (Brain Tumor) Caregiver

I have great respect for caregivers of all shapes and sizes. My wonderful sister was my caregiver when I came home from my first brain tumor operation. She was patient, attentive and gentle.

She did all that in spite of the fact that I was a mess: I had trouble walking, my short-term memory was reduced to about a nanosecond and nobody in their right mind would let me near a stove. Said differently, she was an angel and I was incredibly lucky.

In a month or so, though, I became nearly self-sufficient – so much so that my wife could leave me at home alone with huge worries.

Not all brain tumor victim caregivers are so lucky.

If you or your caregiver is not so lucky, I think you’ll find the American Brain Tumor Association’s “Caregiver Resource Center” section particularly useful:
It’s got information on:

  • The Impact on the Family Unit
  • Helping the Children and Teens Cope
  • The Role of the Caregiver
  • Managing Physical Symptoms
  • Managing Cognitive Symptoms
  • Caring for the Caregiver
  • Getting the Help You Need
  • Safety at Home
  • Tips for Extended Family and Friends
  • Navigating the Health (USA) System
  • Caregiver Terms and Worksheets
And, just as importantly, it’s got caregiver videos:  The videos are honest, raw and informative.  Please don’t underestimate the importance of these videos. Just like brain tumor support groups for patients, I find that connecting caregivers with other caregivers, somebody to talks to who really understands your problems, provides a world of good.

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