Information for Caregivers
For many of our patients, dealing with cancer or a blood disorder can be the greatest challenge they have ever faced. No one is expected to face this challenge alone. Often friends, family members and loved ones are more than willing to show how much they care and will ask the question, "What can I do to help?"
As difficult as it might be for many people to accept assistance, It is important for the patients friends, family and loved ones to build a psychosocial support team. Seeing a loved one fight a life-threatening illness can be devastating. It can often be very therapeutic to get involved in the healing process.
Most patients need a team of individuals who are able to take on each of the following roles:
- Secretary. Someone who can attend all visits with you, pay attention and take notes. This person may also be willing to help with in-home tasks such as opening mail and paying bills.
- Drivers. (Based on availability this is often a group of people who can help you get to visits and appointments)
- Research Coordinator. Someone who can surf the internet for you to get information about your illness and provide appropriate questions for your doctor. Remember, "Dr. Google" can provide a lot of misinformation and get very confusing. Ask us and we can help provide reliable Websites for useful information.
- Gopher. Someone who can, "go for" the things we often take for granted when we are not feeling ill: groceries, mail, laundry.
- Maid. When we feel bad, we do not want to clean the house.
- Cook. Set up a volunteer list of friends and neighbors to schedule and provide home-cooked healthy meals on a regular basis.
- Trainer. Have someone that can be your motivator and exercise partner to keep you as active as doctor recommends.
- Emotional Support Group. Ask a select, few, special people in your life if they can be the ones that can listen to your complaints, fears, and worries
- Well Spouse/Caregiver support
- Partners In Healing: Especially for Caregivers (Instructional DVD on how to give comfort through touch and massage to a loved one with cancer)