Social Well Being
Being a carer of someone with an asbestos related disease and especially mesothelioma can be emotionally and physically difficult. As a carer you will need to make sure that you keep strong and and calm – try not to ‘lose your cool!. Watching someone suffer is a major challenge and tears could flow easily. Your strength and encouragement as a family carer will be needed to help the patient cope with the illness.
So it is important that you look after yourself.
- You may have to learn how to provide the care but you cannot give the care 24 hours a day you WILL need some breaks.
- You may be feeling a bit stressed, think about what you enjoy doing and see if you can still make time to do this during the week.
- Spend some time away from the house and ‘your patient’, do not feel guilty about this – when you come back to the patient you may feel a bit more energised.
- Get as much information as possible about the illness, talk to the nurses and doctors ask them questions. Try to speak to others, who have been on the same journey as you, get in touch with us at AASC.
- Taking some form of exercise is a great antidote to combat stress. It can boost your energy. Just some walks lasting around 10 minutes will help. You will get some fresh air and be reminded that there is a life beyond ‘the sick room’.
- If you are lifting, moving or physically supporting your patient – you need to learn how to do it properly otherwise you may incur a back injury which can be very painful! You can receive free instruction on how to ‘manually handle the patient’ – get in touch with AASC for information and contacts.
- Try to eat healthily – it will be too easy to nibble on biscuits and to skip meals – so you may need to plan and get organised for shopping – online shopping with supermarkets delivering to your house can be a great help. If people are keen to do something rather than cakes maybe ask for a savoury meal like a stew or curry, or basket of fresh fruit. Though cakes are delicious in moderation!
- Ask family and friends to help out – they want to help – do not wear yourself out. Sitters can be arranged – contact AASC for details.
- You need to make sure that you get enough sleep – lack of sufficient rest could make you irritable.
- If you do not feel comfortable talking about how you feel with family members – share your feelings with us at AASC – it will be a start to helping you cope.
- We aren’t all ‘natural carers’ – your ‘patient’ deserves the best care and you have not failed if you cannot do it all yourself – asking for help is a plus!