My grandfather lost his battle with lung cancer in September. Both of my grandfathers passed from lung cancer actually, hence my reason for never picking up a cigarette, ever. Their deaths were 30 years apart – almost to the day – but the pain has stuck with me. It’s never easy losing someone you love. While I was a kid when my Papa Bob passed, I was able to be there for my Papa George during his tough days. Watching my Granny and other family members take on his everyday care was truly a learning experience for me. Today I’m sharing caregiver tips and the importance of joining a support group for yourself.
This post is sponsored by Depend, Poise, Ensure, and Glucerna but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Caregiver Tips and Why It’s Important to Join a Support Group
My Papa had adenocarcinoma, a common but aggressive form of lung cancer. His treatment consisted of chemo and radiation treatments. At 81 years old, that is a tough battle to take on, but he was willing to fight to live. After several treatments, he wound up in the hospital with fluid in his lungs, followed by a tough battle with pneumonia that paused his treatments for some time. Once he surpassed all of those stumbling blocks, he completed his final rounds of chemo and radiation, and in May of this year, his doctor gave him the most wonderful news…the tumors in his right lung were gone.
I remember him sharing that his doctor said, “ it’s probably a good thing you take a blood thinner. It likely caused you to cough up the blood leading to the scan that found your disease.” That early detection allowed him a fighting chance. Unfortunately, a month or so later he was back in the hospital with another bout of pneumonia, followed by some physical therapy due to being bedridden for some time.
My Granny took amazing care of him – although also in her 80’s – it quickly became exhausting and overwhelming. Her back began to hurt from her assisting him, and honestly, all that encompasses becoming a caregiver for a loved one. Soon, she needed surgery due to an injury and my grandfather’s kids stepped in as caregivers for him. I visited with him every possible weekend I could get up there. He was getting treatment about 2 hours away. I saw the toll it took on my sweet Granny and other family members. Our visits were short and sweet, many times bringing the boys because I knew we were on limited time. I’m so thankful for the memories…
The Importance of a Support Group
Caring for the elderly and ill can become difficult and isolating due to the amount of time spent taking care of another. It’s important to have an outlet and support. If you’re unable to go to a physical support group, which is often the case, technology has provided a convenient option – online support groups. Many can be found on Facebook which is a very popular social media site. These private groups are free to join and allow you to speak freely about your concerns, get help, and help others. This site has vetted some of the top support groups on Facebook.
Another convenience is Sam’s Club Caregiver program. Here you can find tips for managing caregiver stress, in addition to shopping in store for many of the items your loved one needs, like Poise liners, Depend disposable underwear, nutritional drinks like Ensure and Glucerna, vitamins and more. Contact your local Sam’s Club pharmacist with any questions you may have.
While my grandfather has since passed, I’m still able to assist other family members with their needs by shopping for them at Sam’s Club.
I like the convenience of shopping for a variety of products at Sam’s Club including groceries. Plus their larger portions allow me to stock up because I have quite a busy schedule, as do many caregivers. You can even shop online and have it shipped, or opt for the pick-up service which allows a Sam’s Club member to shop for you, and you simply come in and pay for your cart and head out the door.
I hope these caregiver tips have offered a few stress-relieving solutions for you!