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Helping with Life

Your loved one can sometimes feel very tired or overwhelmed and may need help with everyday tasks. There may also be times when they feel reasonably well and can manage on their own. Make sure you’re available to help them when necessary and let them be independent when you’re not needed.

Due to the myeloma and/or its treatment, your loved one’s blood counts may put them at higher risk of bleeding and infection. If applicable, ask the healthcare team for home-care instructions and be sure to enforce special precautions in your loved one’s home.

Remember: You don’t need to do everything on your own. Reach out to other people such as family members so that they can share the workload. Friends are usually willing to help, but they are often too shy to ask or don’t know in what capacity. To help your loved one maintain a sense of privacy and dignity, consider delegating certain intimate tasks to a professional.

Financial Planning

It’s a good idea to sit down with your loved one to review his/her financial situation. Make a list of income sources (including investments), savings, pensions, insurance policies, as well as debts and other financial commitments. If you think it may be difficult to pay off a debt such as a mortgage, call the lender and discuss options to ease the burden (eg, suspending payments for a period of time). Next, brainstorm strategies to help your loved one (and you, if you’re the partner) increase income or reduce expenses, consulting financial or tax experts as needed.

Succession

It’s never easy to talk about succession planning however, it is something to consider discussing at some point. Although it may be a sensitive topic, having a succession plan will put everyone’s minds at ease in the long run. Broach the subject gently and tackle the job at a pace that feels comfortable for your loved one. A notary or attorney with expertise in living wills can provide guidance about other useful documents, such as a Power of Attorney instructions.