For Caregivers

Helping your loved one stay engaged in his care
As a caregiver, you play a very important role in your loved one’s care. Not only do you provide support outside of doctor’s appointments, but you are also an important member of his healthcare team.

Being a caregiver has its challenges. It can be hard to stay positive when your loved one’s needs and emotions are frequently changing, causing your role to frequently change as a result.

Communicating with your loved one is very important. This can help the two of you decide which aspects of his care he would like you to be involved with. It can also help you both be more open about how you’re feeling. Opening up to each other as much as possible can help ensure that you’re on the same page—now and in the future.

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    Planning for the future, together

    At this point in your loved one’s journey, he may be receiving treatment to help lower his testosterone levels. This type of treatment may help him manage his prostate cancer for some time.

    Encouraging him to learn more about the different ways to identify prostate cancer progression can help both of you understand more about what may happen next. It’s understandable that neither of you may want to think about the future while his cancer is under control. But helping him prepare can allow you both to feel more in control if his prostate cancer progresses.

    In order to be better prepared for future decisions, you and your loved one may want to discuss what he’s looking to get out of his next treatment and what’s important to him. This can help him have more detailed conversations with his doctor regarding next steps. Use this guide together to help him prepare for his next appointment.

    Keep in mind that during these doctor conversations, it’s important to make sure your loved one always feels in control and supported. Sometimes he may need you to remind him what questions to ask. Other times he may need you to keep notes, or simply to hold his hand.

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    Thinking ahead

    As you both continue your journey with prostate cancer, remember that your relationship may have its ups and downs. But keeping a positive attitude and having a plan for the future can help ease both of your minds. Take the time now to ask questions, think through next steps, and partner with his healthcare team to create a plan for the future.

    A checklist for communicating with your loved one:

    • Set aside time regularly to have open and honest conversations

    • Discuss what’s important to him and what he’s looking to get out of his next treatment so that you’re both on the same page

    • Talk to him about what he would like your role to be during conversations with his doctor (eg, does he want you to take notes, or do most of the talking?)

    Prostate Cancer Caregivers
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    Helpful resources

    The websites below can help you learn more about your role as a caregiver and how to help someone with prostate cancer. They provide information on support groups, programs, and resources tailored to helping caregivers.