Confinement in solitude: an added challenge for people with cancer and their families

In these confined days, loneliness affects more than 40,000 people with cancer who live alone in Spain . A situation that has a greater impact on those over 75 years of age, and that may accentuate the feeling of loneliness in these people due to the current isolation.  

Although each person faces the disease in a different way, the truth is that having the support of others is important in this process. In fact, according to the professionals of the AECC, it is common for cancer patients to present emotional distress and anxious and depressive symptoms . If this is so in a normal situation, during confinement, the situation may become more complicated .

How to deal with confinement?

Beyond the frequent doubts that may arise about the fear of coronavirus , the situation of confinement is more difficult when we are alone at home and we do not have someone with whom to share routines and who can serve as emotional support.

In this sense, it is important to occupy our time to keep the mind busy . For example, it is key to continue with daily physical exercise practices , also from home, or to think of new healthy dish options . Although, in addition to occupying our time alone, it will also be important to try to maintain some kind of social contact, for example, by phone , video calls …

Along these lines, the AECC psychologist, Carmen Yélamos , explains in this video some guidelines to help us cope with this exceptional circumstance.

I have a sick family member or loved one, how can I help you?

Another situation that may cause special concern is when the person who is alone is a family member . As Aroa Gutiérrez, also a psychologist at the AECC , remembers , the most important thing is to ask that person what they need, since the needs of each person may be different. It is not always easy to know exactly how to help the sick person, what care is the most appropriate and what to say to relieve their pain.

Therefore, it will be important these days to be an emotional support, even if it is in the distance , and let the other person tell us how they feel, without feeling judged, or simply be there to distract themselves from this moment.


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