How to Support Employees with Cancer

While it’s common for family, friends and loved ones to step up and lend a helping hand when a person is battling cancer, there’s another area where assistance may be just as vital, but perhaps less available: at the office. Workplace support for employees with cancer can come in many forms — from policies and procedures that make easing back into the job a bit easier, to informal help from co-workers eager to make the daily grind a little less difficult. Both employers and employees can take steps to make sure workplace support for employees with cancer is available and being put to use. For the Employer A new guide from the National Business Group on Health and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network outlines steps employers can take to offer workplace support for employees with cancer. Key among them are providing short-term disability for cancer treatment, along with disability case managers to walk patients through the ins and outs. The guide also suggests employers put in place an Employee Assistance Program and return-to-work strategies that involve case managers, HR leaders, and the worker’s supervisor to ensure a smooth and sensitive transition. For the Employee It’s also important to be proactive about seeking workplace support for employees with cancer. Cancer.net points out that there are three steps involved in a successful return to work: preparation, adjusting physically and adjusting mentally. Cancer patients should understand the parameters of policies like FMLA and short-term disability for cancer treatments and ensure they’re taking maximum advantage of leave and other benefits available to them. When a doctor approves, contact the company and request a...

How to Support a Senior With Cancer

Cancer does not discriminate: It affects people around the world, from all backgrounds and at all stages of their life; however, those who are at an advanced age may feel the effects of cancer even more than others, for a number of reasons. Elderly cancer patients may be grappling with other expected conditions that naturally come with aging, but which may make fighting off the disease a bit more challenging. Those who are already impacted by mobility issues or memory challenges can be especially affected by the toll of cancer. Seniors often have smaller circles of support than younger patients as well, meaning fewer hands on deck and less day-to-day, practical support. Finances are also a consideration; many seniors have already retired or are unable to work and are on fixed incomes. Cancer can present a significant financial burden to even middle-aged, working adults so it’s to be expected that the condition will disproportionately impact elderly patients. Cancer financial help is one avenue for assistance that loved ones of a senior patient can pursue. Programs like Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loans can connect seniors with the life insurance that they’ve likely paid into for decades, allowing them to use those funds to put up their best fight possible against the disease so they can truly enjoy their golden years. Many healthcare facilities also offer financial consultants, and cancer nonprofits—at both the national and local levels—provide financial resources for patients in need, which caregivers for elderly patients should explore as another means of cancer financial help. Apart from finances, supporting a senior with cancer can involve altering one’s daily schedule...

Top Five Ways You Can Support a Cancer Patient

Cancer patients need support across a variety of spectrums—medical, financial and emotional, among others. Loved ones who have a family member or friend battling cancer may often feel at a loss of how to meet all those needs, but there are some simple ways to make the fight against cancer a little easier. 1. Organize a community benefit: Cancer patients, even those who are insured, are often in need of financial assistance to help pay medical bills and other expenses. If you’re unsure how to plan a benefit, many restaurants, country clubs or other venues often employ event specialists and other planners who can assist with all the details, such as invitations, organizing raffles and ordering food and other supplies. 2. Partner with a local or national cancer organization: Another way for those considering how to hold a fundraiser for cancer patients is to seek a partnership with a cancer agency. Such organizations can offer insight and resources for organizing unique events to benefit individual patients, such as walk-a-thons, parties or donation drives. 3. Connect the patient with needed resources: Sometimes a cancer patient may not have the time or energy to invest in finding information that could help them in their journey. Explore programs that could meet the individual needs of your loved one, such as Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loans, which allow patients to borrow against their own life insurance. 4. Consider overlooked tasks: Treating cancer is an around-the-clock chore, which means daily chores may fall by the wayside. Help out the patient in your life by cooking meals, transporting kids to and from activities or even...

Things You Can Do to Relieve the Burdens of Stress Caused by Cancer

When a patient is given a diagnosis of cancer, the fears may immediately start piling on—about one’s health, future, family, finances, and much more. Despite state-of-the-art treatment and a good prognosis, worries and anxiety will surely continue to affect the quality of life of cancer patients. Even after a patient has gone into remission, he or she may still grapple with the residual stressors of the disease. That’s why help for cancer patients in the early stages of their journey is key. Building stress-reducing techniques into one’s daily habits encourages people to make healthy decisions day in and day out, leading to improved mental health and even physical health. Loved ones can provide help for cancer patients by encouraging them to adopt some stress-reduction habits, such as: Exercise: Physical activity is widely acknowledged to be one of the best ways to reduce stress. Some may question if it can actually provide help for cancer patients, who may not be able to have the same level of physical activity they once did. However, even minimal amounts of exercise have proven beneficial to mental wellbeing. A daily walk around the block or through a treatment center or a dip in a pool at a local gym can provide essential help for cancer patients. Healthy Eating: Stocking up on fruits and veggies is a great way to improve outlook and mood, in addition to fueling physical health. The nutrients in a healthy diet have been shown to provide help for cancer patients who are looking to reduce stress and stay centered. Exploring one’s culinary skills is also a fun and engaging way...

How to Stay Organized When Times Get Tough

One of the best pieces of advice for cancer patients may be the simplest: Get organized. From appointments to clinical terminology, a major medical crisis like cancer can generate lots of things to remember. And between co-pay receipts, medical bills, and correspondence with doctors and insurance companies alike, cancer patients may find themselves drowning in a sea of paperwork. Getting and staying organized can be a big help for cancer patients, who already have enough on their minds without having to keep track of every detail that a diagnosis produces. Here are a few items of advice for cancer patients looking to make organization a part of their path to recovery. 3 Tips for Staying Organized Keep notes: Take detailed notes of all of your doctor’s visits, meetings with financial counselors and financial assistance companies, and even interactions with insurance companies. Bring along a loved one to help you log all of the details, or even set up a tape recorder or smartphone so you can revisit the conversations later. Save your paperwork: A dining room table covered in a mountain of bills and receipts is likely a common sight for most cancer patients. It’s important to save that paperwork, as you may need financial documents to challenge insurance decisions or for tax purposes, and all medical paperwork is important to establish a firm record of your case. But it’s easy enough to manage without all the mess. If you have a filing cabinet, clear out a drawer just for documents relating to your case; use color-coded folders or file tabs to differentiate among topics, such as Bills (Paid...

Supporting Someone Battling Cancer

According to CBS News, more than half of Americans have had an immediate family member who has battled cancer. Despite that staggering statistic, the mental and emotional toll of cancer may seem insurmountable for loved ones, who struggle to find the right words and actions to provide a solid support system for the cancer patient in their lives. Here are a few ways you can support a loved one through his or her diagnosis: Be aware: Even if the individual hasn’t confided in you that he or she is struggling, educate yourself about the logistical side effects of cancer, such as financial toxicity. Research has found that cancer more than doubles the risk for bankruptcy, so financial help for cancer patients can go a long way. Companies like LifeCredit provide lifesaving loans to help patients navigate their care. Make yourself aware of such resources so you can share them with the loved in your life. Be practical: Whether it’s finances or housework, think of simple ways you can help. Drop off a gift card to a place you know your loved one likes to food shop, or even stock up on groceries yourself and deliver them to their door. Grab your vacuum cleaner and head over to help them spruce up their home. Cook and deliver some meals that can be frozen. Think about the tasks that you do on a daily basis around your home and figure out ways to assist your loved one with those responsibilities. Importantly, don’t wait to be asked: Just show up and get to work. Be a good listener: Sometimes a person facing...