Posted 9 months ago
Caring for a Loved One
Caring for a loved one who has been diagnosed with cancer can be stressful and overwhelming. It can be difficult to work, maintain the household, and ensure your loved one gets to all respective appointments and treatments. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has added additional stress as caregivers are no longer permitted to be present during appointments and/or in the treatment room. This lack of information directly from medical professionals can lead to increased stress and anxiety related to your loved one’s care.
Rule #1 of Caregiving:
You must first take care of yourself! Think back to when a flight attendant tells you to secure your oxygen mask prior to helping others. Same concept. If you are neglecting your own health, not eating and/or sleeping, how will you be able to fully ensure that your loved one is able to receive the care that they need?
The biggest thing to remember is that you do NOT have to do it alone. If you have a support system that is offering to help, utilize them. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. There are some resources/supports that can assist you in caring for your loved one if they are struggling with maintaining their activities of daily living (ADLs), experiencing difficulty ambulating, etc. If you have questions regarding what might be available for you and your loved one, please remember that Ironwood has two Licensed Master Social Workers who are able to assist and provide additional information in this regard.
We’re Here to Help
If you need emotional support as you navigate caregiving, Ironwood has a Caregiver’s Support Group that is held on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 10 am-12 pm. This is the one group that is exclusively for caregivers so we do ask that you make arrangements for your patient if necessary. For more information on the group, please contact Supportive Care Services: 480-314-6660.
About Ciara Endicott
Ciara Endicott is the Support Service Coordinator for Ironwood Integrative Services. Ciara oversees class and support group scheduling and implementation, as well as informational support to patients and their caregivers. Ciara also oversees the volunteer program at Ironwood that helps with various patient resources within our clinics.
She provides basic direction for patients seeking resources within the practice. Ciara has been with Ironwood since 2013, working with oncology patients in her various roles. She is currently completing her Bachelor’s Degree at Arizona State University, Majoring in Community Advocacy & Social Policy, and plans to pursue her Master’s Degree in Social Work. Her passion and desire to work with cancer patients have been inspired by her own experience with cancer and her desire to promote whole-person health and healing. Outside of work, Ciara enjoys doing crafts with her two children, playing Scrabble with her husband, and journaling.
About Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers
Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers (ICRC) is the largest multi-specialty oncology network in the Greater Metro Phoenix area. They have over 100 medical providers, a robust Integrative Services program, and a dedicated clinical research department. Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers has 15 valley locations and five comprehensive cancer care centers that offer a multi-disciplinary approach for expedited personalized patient care. For more information, please visit www.ironwoodcrc.com.