How Caregivers for Cancer Patients Can Create a Healthy In-Home Network
The number of people who are diagnosed with cancer has declined over the years. However, the number of people who are living with the disease has increased. People are living much longer after the diagnosis because there is better access to medical care and people are getting tested before the first symptoms appear. Caregivers for cancer patients allow the patient to recover at home and help them during this difficult time.
These caregivers are either informal caregivers or formal caregivers. An informal caregiver is usually a family member, and they do not receive pay for assisting the cancer patient. Formal caregivers for cancer patients are trained professionals who come into the home on a predetermined schedule and provide care and assistance to the patient. A formal caregiver can be a:
- Home health aide
- Social Worker
Formal caregivers are usually referred by a home health agency and have been properly screened before they are matched with the patient.
The Job Duties of an Informal Caregiver
The informal and formal caregiver often has the same job duties and responsibilities. The tasks can range from simple assistance to providing care full time. Caregivers should also know that the tasks they are asked to complete can change as care progresses. Some of the tasks that a patient may need assistance with include:
- Medication monitoring
- Transportation to appointments
- Meal preparation
- Paying bills
- Helping the patient communicate with loved ones
- Speaking to the physician on the patient’s behalf
What Issues An Informal Caregiver May Go Through?
Although most family members feel a sense of fulfillment when they are caring for someone they loved who has cancer, unlike professional caregivers, they are often unprepared for the different challenges that might become a major issue during the care. These challenges are: emotional, financial and physical.
Family members who begin to show signs of depression, stress or physical sickness from providing full time care should undergo an assessment. During the assessment, a health professional will learn about the specific issues and needs for the home and make suggestions based on the best care for both patient and caregiver. A trained caregiver can enter the home to provide additional care to the patient and respite care for the caregiver.
Caregivers for cancer patients should encourage a positive and uplifting home environment for the patient. However, if they begin to feel burned out, they should seek additional help from a qualified health professional.
No one person can do everything and it is okay to admit you need help. Call for a free consultation with Evergreen Private Care so your loved one can continue to receive quality care when you need to take a break. Together, we will help your loved one get through this difficult journey with the care and compassion they deserve.