More than 65 million Americans, or nearly 1/3 of the population, care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year, and caregivers spend an average of 20 hours per week looking after their loved one, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving.
Chances are if you have a family member or a loved one with mesothelioma you will join the ranks of the millions of Americans providing care and support. While being the primary caregiver for a mesothelioma patient can be challenging, Jennifer Gelsick who was a caregiver for her father, said, “although caregiving can be stressful at times, remember what an honor it is to help someone you love get well after mesothelioma.”
Jan Egerton, who lost her battle to mesothelioma in January after a 10-year fight, relied on her husband daily for care and help with day-to-day activities. Her husband not only helped her with her medical needs, but he also cooked, cleaned and ran errands. In short, Jan said, “Gary is my rock.”
For more insight and thoughts about being a caregiver, or receiving care from a loved one, read more about Jennifer’s and Jan’s experience, as well as from other patients and caregivers. In addition, mesothelioma nurse Lisa Hyde-Barrett provides information as a nurse and as an observer of the interaction between patients and their family members.