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Ways to Manage Prostate Cancer as a Caregiver

When detected early, prostate cancer is treatable with minimal change to the patient's quality of life. However, when the disease reaches more advanced stages, treatment becomes more invasive and sometimes less effective. As a result of this, once prostate cancer reaches more advanced stages, there is generally a caregiver involved to manage the day-to-day care of the patient, including his medication and cancer care, as well as his household needs.

Seek Information

If you are a caregiver for a victim of prostate cancer, you will want to accompany him on his doctor's visits and be sure there is a release signed so that the physicians can share information with you regarding his care. Frequent sharing of information between you and his physicians will help ensure effective, seamless care at home and at his treatment facility. Be sure that you have contact information for all medical professionals involved and do not hesitate to ask questions.

Also take the time to learn about the disease itself. You will be a better caregiver and the job will not be as stressful for you if you have a thorough understanding of prostate cancer, its symptoms, and the treatments involved.

Organize Home Care

Understanding your own limitations is key to providing organized and effective home care. Decide where priorities lie, and be willing to give less attention to those items lower on the list, such as housekeeping. Enlist help from family or organizations if available, to ensure proper rest and care for yourself.

Post a schedule of medications, treatments, and appointments that is easily seen and understood. Include contact numbers for healthcare professionals and emergency services, including pertinent information regarding prostate cancer. This will help you remain organized and make transitioning to respite help easy. Consider using a home health nursing service for at least part time assistance. Often a nurse with some prior knowledge of prostate cancer can provide a great deal of support.

Address Legal and Financial Matters

When faced with a health crisis such as prostate cancer, the idea of dealing with wills and health directives in case of death, is difficult and often repugnant. However, legal matters, such as an advance health directive, will keep matters clear and much easier to handle should the patient reach a point at which he is not able to deal with such issues.

Additionally, time does not stand still while you are caring for your loved one. Be sure to manage financial matters and pay bills in a timely manner. This may seem unimportant in light of the prostate cancer you are fighting together, but allowing them to pile up will only cause larger problems later.


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