By Kathy Oliver and Sema Erdem, Co-Chairs, ECO Patient Advisory Committee
Ensuring that a loved one is properly supported through the challenges of treatment and beyond during the cancer journey is often the role which falls to a family caregiver. Caregivers support their loved one’s practical, emotional and physical issues. And the role is often 24/7. But where does the caregiver turn for support, as their resilience is tested time and again over months and years?
Caregivers need all the help and support they can get. So today the European Cancer Organisation’s (ECO) Patient Advisory Committee launches a Caregivers Hub dedicated to providing an array of vital resources, key tools and tips. Although still in its initial stages of being built, the intention of the Hub is to help care for the caregiver. Recognising that the caregiver’s role may change over time as their loved one’s disease status changes, the hub in its expanded form will include information on how to care for people with specific cancer types and provide resources for the caregiver which will help reduce the inevitable physical and psychological toll that such work often entails.
Ensuring that caregivers are more skilled, efficient, and confident leads to an improved patient journey for their loved one. And research has also highlighted that, given proper support and information, caregivers experience the satisfaction of knowing that their loved one is getting excellent care.
As we receive more content for the Caregivers Hub, we will create dedicated sections to provide a more complete guide for cancer caregivers. We encourage your input and ask you to share your resources with us so we can amplify your messages and share best practice with the cancer community.
We are also pleased to announce that our Patient Advisory Committee has grown to 22 members with the International Kidney Cancer Coalition (IKCC) and the European Liver Patients' Association (ELPA) having recently joined us. As we grow our pool of expertise, we hope to provide other resources in support of caregivers throughout Europe.
Visit the Caregivers Hub here.