- Stay connected. We encourage caregivers to be present during appointments and treatments via video or phone. Knowing details of your loved one’s diagnosis, appointments or treatment schedules will allow all parties to feel like they are active participants in the journey. Some treatments can often be lengthy, but knowing you are a phone call or FaceTime away will bring your loved one comfort. Our teams are eager to help in facilitating this if you find yourself challenged with technology.
- Be together. Although you may not be together during an appointment or hospital stay, you are your loved one’s support system for a reason. The moments you do have together can ease stress and fears for each other. This may include driving to and from appointments, running errands or simply enjoying free time together. Make sure to always wear your mask.
- Foster creativity. As some treatment plans can often span weeks or months, we love to see the joy of patients who have received a surprise gift from a loved one. From books to pass time or their favorite snack, to surprise cards in their treatment bags, be creative and reach out to family and friends to help you collect gifts. Remember, many hands make light work.
- Ask questions. A medical diagnosis impacts the patient, family and friends. Having questions of your own is normal and Tallahassee Memorial wants to provide answers to everyone we can. Being plugged in virtually during appointments will allow you to establish a relationship with your loved one’s medical team. In addition, our dedicated nurse navigators are here to provide emotional support for patients and caregivers. Asking questions is normal, not a sign a weakness, and we always encourage you to reach out to your medical team.
- Take care of yourself. We also understand that being a caregiver is hard work and remind you to take care of yourself too. Maintain habits and strategies to manage your health and well-being – eat balanced meals, exercise whenever possible and establish a sleep routine that works well for you. We know stress continues to be heightened in this season and recognize that you are doing the best you can. To help others you need to help yourself too.
During this pandemic you’re not alone. For more resources, please visit TMH.ORG/Coronavirus.