Caregiving and Ocular Melanoma

Tips for Caregivers INFORMED AND EMPOWERED OCULAR MELANOMA PATIENTS LIVE LONGER, BETTER LIVES.

• Accept the limitations of both yourself and your loved one. Have patience. • Be prepared for treatment side effects and use statements such as "Would you like to try lying down?" or "Do you think it might help if you had some water?" Allow your loved one to have space to make decisions instead of trying to "fix" it for him/her. • Be reassuring, especially if your loved one becomes emotional. Statements like "I'm here, we can get through this together", "one thing a time", "I'm here for you", etc. show that you are there and supportive. • Learn how to provide proper physical care if the need arises. • Talk to a professional. Support groups and individual counselors are available if you need them.

Tips and Suggestions for Caregivers

• Caregiving is a team effort. Call on family, friends, co-workers and other loved ones. • Be proactive and plan ahead, especially if travel is involved. Create schedules to ensure that things will get done. • Stay organized. Create a binder with specific tabs related to doctors, expenses, reports, travel, research, legal papers, etc. • Keep a spreadsheet of expenses and seek professional assistance to know what is deductible when filing your taxes. • Know yourself – understand your limitations and how much you can handle. • Stay positive – this can be difficult, so lean on others. • Accompany your loved one to doctor visits and decide together how you will participate – asking questions, taking notes, providing the doctor with new information during the visit, etc. • Ask for copies of reports, bloodwork, scans, etc. to keep for your records. • Keep communication open between you and your loved one. This is key to making decisions. • Let the patient lead – listen to their likes and dislikes, share your thoughts but respect their wishes in every care decision.

• Do the best you can, that is all that is needed.

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