How can I care for my elderly mother now that I've been diagnosed with cancer?

1 answer | Last updated: Jun 29, 2010
A fellow caregiver asked...

I was told yesterday I had Squamous cell cancer.  I'm scared for me and my mother that I take care of, as she's really bad off.  I was looking for some help or where to turn for support. We live in Georgia.

Expert Answers

Take a deep breath, and try to give yourself some adjustment time. A cancer diagnosis is scary, but you're just getting started on learning what lies ahead, and things may not be as bad as they seem this moment. How thoughtful of you to think of your mom at this time. You need to line-up support for yourself, and for your mother. . .  a double effort. Give yourself lots of credit for thinking ahead.  

I think the very best place for you start is with your local Area Agency on Aging (found through the Eldercare Locator). This is a government-run referral service for all kinds of senior services, with local offices around the country.  Tell them your situation and what kind of help you need for your mom.  Also, as you start the journey as cancer patient, you may want to consider talking to the hospital social worker about getting help for your mom. Hospital social workers should be able to help you sort through what you need to do for your dependents, including your mother.  In addition to helping you find the support you need, for yourself. 

Without knowing your financial situation it's hard to know if Medicaid or Medicare can help you and your mother, but your local Area Agency on Aging can help you sort through these government health services. Finally, I certainly hope family or friends can help you during this time. Here's a article to help organize this volunteer support.  Best of luck to you.