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Support for caregiver

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2006

My stepdad was diagnosed 2 weeks ago with non-hodgkin's lymphoma. He was admitted to the hospital today for extensive treatments and more tests because he is in stage 4 and they also suspect leukemia (they'll know more tomorrow).

At this point, though, I am mostly worried about my mom. She seems to be barely keeping it together right now with the increasingly bad news and the stress of caring for my stepdad. She's becoming more and more despondent and withdrawn.

What can I do to support my mom during this time? I was thinking of going to clean her house this weekend while she's spending the whole week at the hospital. I live 2 hours from them, and she mentioned a few times how she really needs to go home and get the house in order before he gets released next Wednesday. Will it just be more stressful for her that I'm there (she'll be spending most of the time at the hospital anyway), or do you think this would be a welcomed thing?

Is there anything else I can do to help her out, lift her spirits, de-stress her, etc? I want some concrete things I can do to help relieve her stress right now because she's not one to respond well to positive wishes and rah-rah speeches. Any help is greatly appreciated.

CanadaSue's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2006

Hi Amy,

I am a caregiver for my husband, so I know what your mom is going thru.

Your visit will be appreciated, the house work would be an extra bonus!

But most importantly be there for her. SHe is going thru every emotion in the book right now, and needs you there for her. She may not want to discuss what is going, but start off with a totally different subject, and leave it up to her
as to where she wants the conversation to go.

Please be strong, and just be there for your mom!

You three are all in my prayers!


lbinmsp's picture
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2006

I agree with Sue's response. Open the door and let her 'walk through' to talk or not talk. I think the hardest thing about being the caregiver is, you're so stressed and so tired that you don't even know what to ask for help with. So your visit to clean before they get home is a great plan and I bet she'll be so grateful. Then offer to run errands, or take your stepdad to an appointment so your mother can have a little time off. Depending on your stepdad's prognosis, hospice care is another avenue. They can arrange respite care so your mother doesn't get too overwhelmed, they can be a great source of information and also a 'safe place' for both your stepdad and your mother to talk about stuff that they may be hesitant to talk to the kids about.

God bless! You're a good daughter.

Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 2006

If she's like me, she'll be afraid to go anywhere. My husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 tonsil cancer in Dec. - we still are battling it & financial trouble. Just be there and let her know you are. A 2 hour drive seems close, but when you're concerned about someone it seems like forever. Maybe she would enjoy your visit for a long weekend. We've lived in our new home 8 months now, and I still won't hang pictures because I keep waiting for the "other foot" to fall. She knows you love her, but remind her daily. I received cards from many friends & family - maybe that will help. Just remember, she's in her own hell (I don't know how else to describe it). Talk of other things - anything!!! BUT be positive - funny things - not problems. Just love her and remind her daily that you do!!!

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