Finding out that a family member or friend has been diagnosed with a brain tumour can be overwhelming, and it may not be easy to know what to do or say. However, the person may well appreciate some help, and there are some things that you can do. Here are some ideas on how to handle the situation.
Offer specific practical help
Saying to the person, ‘let me know if you need any help’ might make you feel as though you are being supportive. However, this puts the initiative back on the sick person, and many people are reluctant to make specific demands, even when they are in need. They might be too preoccupied with other worries to really consider what help would be most useful.
Therefore, make suggestions, such as offering to do the grocery shopping, or give help with meal preparation. If you have limited time, make contact with other friends and family members and divide up the chores between you.
Offer to give lifts
The person may no longer be able to drive, so ask if they need any assistance with attending medical appointments or going shopping, and so on. They may also appreciate going for a day out somewhere, if they are feeling well enough, to help them have a change of scene.
Offer to help with admin
Unfortunately, a diagnosis of illness can lead to a lot of admin tasks, from making medical insurance claims, to enquiring about benefits, and much more. The person may not have much appetite for doing this, and might appreciate some help.
Find out about support groups
Talking to other people in a similar situation may be really helpful. There are many support groups online which provide advice, support, or just a friendly chat, for patients, carers, relatives and friends. Putting the person in touch with their local group may be of benefit.
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