What It Takes to Be a Caregiver

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What if I make mistakes?

No matter what you do, you will very likely come to a point where you feel that you have failed in some way. It seems obvious that as a caregiver, you do the best you can. You try to include the patient, other concerned family members, and close friends in important discussions. You always try to make decisions that are in the patient’s best interest – decisions that you and the patient can live with. But sometimes you will feel that you could have handled a situation better or done something a better way.

At these times, it is important not to blame yourself. Find a way to forgive yourself and move on. It helps to keep in mind that you will keep making mistakes, just like everyone else. Try to keep a sense of humor about it. And try to recognize those things that you do well, too. These things are often easy to overlook. It also helps to keep in mind why you chose to take on this often difficult and stressful job.

As a caregiver, you have an important and unique role in helping your loved one through their cancer experience. The American Cancer Society can offer you information, resources, and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 any day and any time you need help for yourself or your loved one.

Last Medical Review: 02/14/2012
Last Revised: 03/23/2012