The bone marrow and blood contain cells that are affected by chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Symptoms of CLL can be developed slowly. People with CLL may experience fatigue, anemia, and infections that can make it difficult to complete everyday tasks, as cancer cells begin to crowd out healthy cells in the blood.

Many people with CLL need help navigating their lives with the condition, because of the symptoms and possible side effects of treatment. People with CLL often need the help of their loved ones.

It can be difficult to figure out where to start if you find yourself in this role. There are some tips for caring for someone with CLL.

Learning more about CLL can help you understand what to expect. It is possible to remove some of the unknowns and relieve your stress.

You may want to look at resources from professional organizations. Some of these organizations are not listed.

You can learn more about the experiences of people living with CLL through online or in-person support groups.

“If your loved one is comfortable with it, you can help them with their medical care by attending doctor’s appointments with them.”

It may be difficult for your loved one to absorb all of the information they are given. You can help them remember important details, like the risks and benefits of treatment.

Being at appointments also offers you an opportunity to connect with your loved one’s healthcare team to discuss any concerns you may have. This may increase the likelihood that the concerns are addressed, according to a 2017 research analysis.

Your loved one will need to give their consent for you to be involved with their care. If they do, they may ask you to sign a release form acknowledging your involvement.

Mobility issues may be caused by nerve damage, pain, or fatigue, and certain CLL treatments may cause it. Making small changes to the home can make life safer for someone who is dealing with CLL therapy.

Home modifications may include:

  • everyday items are moved to easily accessible places
  • The bed is being lowered.
  • The shower seat and bathmats are being installed.
  • Replacing glass or ceramic dishes with non breakable ones.

Older adults with CLL are more likely to have fatigue and treatment side effects that make it hard to stay on top of daily tasks. Cleaning, mowing the lawn, and grocery shopping are some of the basic chores that people with CLL may need help with.

“People with CLL are more likely to develop severe infections because of the cancer’s effect on the immune system. Keeping their house clean, helping with basic hygiene, and practicing good food safety can all help reduce the likelihood that your loved one will get an infection.”

People with CLL may need help understanding their health insurance plan, and their loved ones may be able to help.

As a caregiver, you can also help by connecting them with resources to help with out-of-pocket costs and determining the next steps in the event their claim is denied, according to the The American Cancer Society..

You can make sure they have the necessary legal documentation completed early. It is possible that you can make copies of these documents for your own records.

It is difficult to care for a loved one with cancer. It is important to take care of yourself, just as you take care of your loved one. This will help you to manage stress and health problems.

Take time to do things you enjoy and connect with friends and family. Set boundaries with your loved one about how you can and cannot help.

It is possible to recruit other family members, friends, or even professional services to help out with certain tasks.

People with CLL are more likely to get infections. The cells that fight off infections are affected by CLL.

“It is important that you stay healthy so that you don’t pass any diseases to someone with CLL. A condition that is mild in a healthy person can have serious effects on someone with CLL.”

The LLS recommends that those caring for a person with CLL get the annual flu shot and all other age-appropriate vaccinations.

Try to avoid large crowds or close interactions with people who are not feeling well. Wearing a mask indoors and washing your hands frequently can help prevent illness.

Depending on how much help your loved one needs, you can become a full-time job.

There are legal protections that help people balance their work and family lives.

If you need to take time off work to care for a loved one, talk with your human resource department or read online about your eligibility and potential options under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

If you need to adjust your work schedule, your employer may offer that option.

There are many ways that you can help a loved one navigate their cancer diagnosis, and the role of the caregivers is important.

If you are caring for someone with CLL, you should prioritize your own needs to ensure you continue to show up for your loved one with understanding.

There are resources available to help you and your loved one with CLL.