Having an aging parent often comes with multiple challenges, including the development of illnesses and health issues. Because of widespread industrial use of asbestos throughout multiple occupations in the 1900s, asbestos-related diseases will likely become more prevalent among an aging population in the coming decade.
If you believe that your parent has an asbestos-related disease, you should equip yourself with information about:
• Treatment concerns
• Caregiver help
• Legal help
The best way to address the concern of a parent with an asbestos-connected disease should be to first seek out medical help. If a diagnosis has not yet been given, you should begin by scheduling an appointment with a doctor who is specialized in respiratory illnesses. Inform the doctor that they experienced asbestos exposure.
To find the right treatment facility, you should consider where the aging parent currently lives, how much access does the parent have to transportation, what their financial situation looks like and what is the severity of their illness. Some non-profits provide free help with traveling expenses and lodging for patients who will be undergoing treatment based on their needs.
The overwhelming responsibility of taking care of an aging parent, especially if they are ill, is difficult and requires a commitment. Commonly, the caregiver role is occupied by a family member, a friend or a close neighbor, as it must be someone that can be trusted and is reliable.
Some caregiver responsibilities include:
• Organize/manage the patient’s finances
• Help with cooking and cleaning
• Schedule doctor and cancer treatment appointments
• Provide transportation
• Provide physical and emotional support
• Maintain communication with the patient’s family/friends
Once the caregiver is selected, they can take advantage of the multiple resources that are available to help them understand caregiver duties. It is often best to begin by communicating with the patient’s doctor because they will point you in the right direction for related information.
One aspect of caregiver responsibility that often goes unspoken is the necessity for caregivers to take care of themselves. It is important for a caregiver to be in good physical and mental health so that they can continue taking care of the patient.
They should exercise regularly, eat healthy and seek out emotional outlets for care of their own feelings. Support groups can provide the caregiver with emotional outlets to relieve stress. These groups can be best found through the Internet, references from doctors or recommendations from other caregivers.
Another important action that is often taken after someone determines that their parent’s illness was caused by asbestos is to seek out legal help. Because asbestos diseases like mesothelioma are the result of asbestos exposure that often occurred on the job, the company or asbestos product manufacturer is held liable.
Once a patient has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, they should speak with a lawyer to determine whether they want to pursue legal action. Asbestos litigation has been known to involve large payouts, which help patients deal with the countless medical expenses.
Legal action can be pursued through traditional lawsuits or through trust funds. Because of the overwhelming number of lawsuits, companies who have acknowledged liability for asbestos exposure have often set up trust funds to speed up the process and minimize damages. Many patients have been known to file traditional lawsuits while also pursuing compensation through trusts.
To receive the best legal assistance, it is important to find the right attorney who is familiar with asbestos litigation. You should seek out an attorney who has a proven track record of winning asbestos-related cases for their clients.
Bio: Mark Hall is a writer for the Mesothelioma Center. Between his interests in environmental health and his writing experience, Mark is committed to communicating relevant news and information regarding the dangers of asbestos exposure and breakthroughs in mesothelioma treatments.