Be A Caregiver Of A Patient

Wanda Gonzalez/ Types Of Care

Key messages:

  • The role of the caregiver will often vary depending on the situation and is likely to change over time.
  • Caring for a patient can, at the same time, be rewarding and challenging.
  • Caregivers should remember to take care of themselves while providing care for the person with cancer.

Caregivers are often family or friends who provide essential physical, practical and emotional support to the person with cancer. Caregivers may have different daily responsibilities or as needed. Here are some of the duties caregivers can take:

  • Provide support and encouragement
  • Administer medications
  • Help manage symptoms and side effects
  • Coordinate medical appointments
  • Drive to appointments
  • Attend meals
  • Help with household chores
  • Handle problems with insurance and billing

Types of care

There are numerous ways to be a caregiver. For some, it can merely look after the affected person 24 hours an afternoon. For others, it may mean looking for medical records or arranging for help. Each scenario is exclusive, and no specific circumstance applies to everyone with most cancers and their households. Also, because the sickness and remedy change so does the caregiver’s position.Caregivers can live in the home, share responsibilities or provide care remotely.

Resident caregiver. A person, such as a spouse or a partner, assumes the role of primary or primary caregiver. A close friend or neighbor can also be the caregiver. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, most caregivers live 20 minutes from the person they care for.

Caregiver with shared responsibilities. Some caregivers share responsibility with other family members. Often, the person performing each task of patient care can accomplish that task in the best possible way. Combining patient care among several family members is often a challenge, because previous conflicts may appear or worsen. However, caring for a family member with cancer can also make the family more united. Remote carer. In some situations, a family member or friend who does not live near the person with cancer is responsible for managing the care. A remote caregiver usually coordinates services by phone or email.

A caregiver can arrange for local volunteers, friends, and colleagues to help the person with cancer.

Caring for a person with cancer who lives far away is usually emotionally exhausting. The distance between the caregiver and the person cared for can increase the caregiver’s usual concerns. It can also cause financial stress. However, there are specific steps you can take to be an effective caregiver, no matter how far you are from the sick person.

The Challenges And Joys Of Caring For A Patient

Wanda Gonzalez/ Challenges Of Caring

To face the challenges of taking care of a patient, start by evaluating all your options as a caregiver. Then, find a way to take care of yourself while providing care.

The challenges of caring for a patient can include the following:

  • Physical and emotional stress
  • Less time for personal and family life
  • Need to balance work responsibilities with those of patient care
  • Financial stress
  • Lack of privacy
  • Feelings of isolation and loneliness

Focusing on the rewarding aspects of patient care can also help:

Attention shows the sick person that you are committed to providing all possible help and support.

  • It makes a difference in the quality of life and well-being of the ill person.
  • It gives you a unique opportunity to develop or renew a relationship with the sick person.
  • Care helps set a pattern of respect and care for other family members, regardless of their situations.

Share responsibilities

Key messages:

  • It is essential that you speak openly and set clear expectations when sharing patient care tasks.
  • Allow family members to help in any way they can, based on their abilities, lifestyles, and schedules.
  • Consider seeking outside help from friends, relatives, and volunteer organizations.

Possible conflicts

Possible sources of conflict between family members who care for a patient include:

Unequal distribution of care tasks. Typically, a family member is placed at the head of the care of the person with cancer. Handles most of the patient care tasks alone. This situation can lead the caregiver to feel overwhelmed, frustrated and resentful, and the other members of the family feel displaced.

Disagreements in decisions about patient care. There may be differences of opinion about financial, medical and daily care decisions.

Differences in the way to face the challenges. Family members may react in different ways about their responsibilities in caring for the sick and may have different ways of coping with their emotions.

Recall in old family roles. The relationship between family members can sometimes return to the way it was before when they were all younger. For example, siblings may notice that they begin to face conflicts similarly as they did when they were younger. Or a family member can take on too many tasks and feel resentful toward others who are doing less.

Work Together As Caregivers

Wanda Gonzalez/ Family Meetings

While resolving family conflicts can be a challenge and a nuisance, it is essential to deal with problems quickly. This allows the family to be in a better position to provide high-quality care to the person with cancer. Each family member should consider what is most important; Be right or provide support.

The following suggestions can help families work together to build a support network.

  • Expect differences of opinion and styles to cope with situations among family members and accept them.
  • If possible, involve the person with cancer. The patient should always be a central part of all conversations and actions related to care.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help with patient care responsibilities and learn to accept it gently.
  • Thank family members who try to help, even if the support is not exactly what you need.
  • Be realistic when it comes to dividing care responsibilities. Allow family members to assist in the way they can and assign tasks according to skills, lifestyle, and schedules.
  • The duties of patient care will vary from day to day and week to week. Encourage family members to stay flexible and lend a hand when extra help is needed.
  • Get outside help from friends, family and volunteer organizations.
  • Be an example to others in the family taking care of yourself physically and emotionally.
  • Use online tools (in English) that allow you to schedule tasks and communicate information. In this way, all family members and other caregivers can access the latest news by connecting to the Internet.
  • Keep in mind that you are working for the same goal of helping the person with cancer, even if there are different ways to achieve it.

Family meetings

Organizing scheduled family meetings on a regular basis can be useful. This is a time to encourage friends and family members of the patient care team to discuss related issues and concerns. Those who cannot attend personally may wish to participate by telephone. During these meetings, everyone should listen to others with respect and at the same time express their own opinions.