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Should caregivers try to give structure to the patient's day?

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Sorry if this sounds naive. My Wife and I are wanting to give remote moral support to her Cousin's carers who are his Wife and his elderly Mother who is a physician. He is in a pretty bad way after surviving skin melanoma nine years ago and a massive heart attack a few months ago and is now battling with advanced liver melanoma. He has just completed his first round of chemo and is wiped out despite being a great fighter. His carers must be pretty exhausted and out of synch.

In hospital cancer patients will often have their day structured by the hospital's routines. Is this desirable and if so should carers try to do the same in the home situation? Or should everything in the patient's life now be ad hoc and on demand. I presume drug administration should be kept to a schedule but what about everything else? Any thoughts you have, or pointers to expert resources of advice, will be much appreciated.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2012

Unfortunatly my brother has liver cancer and lives by himself in another state. He gets no nutrition counseling, it is hit and miss what he eats. If he feels like a burrito, that is what he eats. I don't think he has any ryme or reason for his meals. I think a little bit of structure is needed. But with him so very far away I can't help. I even have to ask him if he drank any water today. When I was down there to visit so much of his canned food was expired. I wish he did have some type of structure - might make him feel better and me less worried. I think one of the fears of living alone is getting dehydrated. After chemo I know he feels really lousy and nauseous. I try to encourage him by phone, but that only goes so far. And walking. They encourage that at the hospital. But my brother's stamina is very low. He doesn't push himself - if he feels bad, he lays down. Aaa I wish I could be down there with him, but I cannot at this time. Not sure if this helps, but will give you some idea there are cancer patients out there that could really benefit from structure, my brother is one of them.


Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Thanks, jk2012. We live in Scotland and our Cousin is in London so, like you, we can't get to see him easily (especially since I've recently had open surgery for kidney cancer). It seems as though in both the US and the UK there isn't easily found advice on whether to try to stick to some sort of routine or just go where the wind blows.

I was sorry to learn about your Brother's situation which sounds very tough. Isn't there some sort of support network that his doctor or hospital can put him in touch with? What a shame that he gets no nutrition advice. Does he have access to the Internet? If so, perhaps he could be told about websites that might help him eat better and it could also help to take his mind off things, but maybe he's not well enough?

With luck someone else who can help will read this and see that it's a problem we share and that maybe lots of others do too.

Best wishes to you and your Brother and you can tell him that someone else, over in the UK, is wishing him well.


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