CHICAGO, Dec. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Research has shown that brain tumor caregivers need more support than caregivers of other types of cancer, so the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) has developed new resources to help caregivers anticipate, prepare for and better cope with the unique needs of caring for someone with a brain tumor throughout the trajectory of the disease.
"Caring for a spouse or child with a brain tumor can be exhausting and stressful day-to-day, and during the holidays, the stress and demands can be overwhelming," said Leticia J. Kees, MS, director of programs and outreach, American Brain Tumor Association. "Our extensive online Caregiver Resource Center, Pediatric Resource Center and Caregiver Handbook offers comprehensive information, tools and tips for caring for a loved one, and just as important, how to care for yourself."
The ABTA's online Caregiver Resource Center and Pediatric Resource Center was created with significant input from brain tumor caregivers who suggested content based on their experiences. Available online 24/7, the resource centers combine caregiver advice with information from clinical experts that provide tools and resources to help caregivers navigate the caring continuum. In addition to providing support for the caregiver, the online resource centers also provide tips for family and friends such as how to coordinate practical help and ways to offer social and emotional support.
"This time of year, caregivers often compromise their own health trying to bring joy and togetherness for their families, so we want to encourage them to seek support and know that the ABTA is here for them now and every day throughout the year," added Kees.
In addition to the online resource centers, the ABTA's Caregiver Handbook offers a wealth of information about understanding the role of a caregiver, how to navigate the health care system, the importance of caring for yourself and much more. The handbook also includes information about the ABTA's CommYOUnity™ Connect Peer Support Network, its online support community Connections, and how to find a local ABTA support group. Caregivers can download the handbook at www.abta.org or request a free copy by calling (800) 886-ABTA (2282).
ABOUT THE AMERICAN BRAIN TUMOR ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was first and is now the only national organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing education and information on all tumor types and for all age groups. For more information, visit http://www.abta.org or call 800-886-ABTA (2282).
Tips to Ease Stress
Consider creating new traditions: If you always cook for the holidays, think about catering or asking family & friends to bring a dish to ease the burden on you;
Share your concerns: If you feel you might be emotional, overwhelmed, or need some time to yourself, talk about how you feel;
Communicate: If family members haven't seen your loved one for a while, offer a quick update on his/her condition so others will know what to expect. You can ask another family member to help you do this;
Adjust your expectations: It's important not to isolate yourself, but be particular in choosing the events you attend based on which will be the least burdensome and the most enjoyable;
Enjoy the moment: Holidays can usher in feelings of sadness and nostalgia for how things used to be. If you can, focus on the moment with your family and loved ones and celebrate your strength
Source: ABTA Caregiver Resource Center
Editor's note: The research referenced is from a study published in the journal Neuro-Oncology Practice 1(4), 2014; Assessing the quality of life among caregivers of patients with gliomas; Patricia Minaya Flores, Julie Berbis, Olivier Chinot, and Pascal Auguier.
CONTACT: Julie Landmesser
SOURCE American Brain Tumor Association