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The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges for the caregivers of cancer patients. During this time, there are actions you can take as a caregiver to reduce your risk of getting sick or infecting others with the disease.
If you are caring for someone who is at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) encourages you to plan ahead:
The best way to keep others from getting sick is to ensure that you yourself are not exposed to the virus. To do so, please keep the following tips in mind:
As a caregiver, it is important to have your own support, too. So, it is essential to take some time for yourself (and having support around you can help).
Try to delegate responsibilities. If you are feeling overwhelmed or need to take a step back, it is very helpful to talk with someone about your feelings and needs. Make sure you also practice good personal wellbeing, healthy eating, and hygiene. Try
to find an outlet to address the additional stress and anxiety you may be experiencing; it's difficult to give someone else the support and time they may need if you aren't also taking care of yourself.
Not sure where to start? Juliana G. Berfield, PhD, movement instructor at Dana-Farber's Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies,
suggests trying these six science-based, self-care strategies that can help reduce stress:
Read about more resources and information for caregivers in our web section, Caring for a Loved One.
Both patients and their caregivers need to practice self-care for emotional and physical well-being in this challenging time. Read helpful information on coping day-to-day with COVID-19 uncertainty.