When a cancer patient is in treatment, it is possible that he or she may need assistance to be able to live at home. In many cases, a family member or members will dedicate themselves to the care of a cancer patient, when possible. This can be intensely draining and put a strain on family relations, and sometimes a patient is so ill that a professional caregiver needs to be brought into the picture.
The decision to bring a caregiver into the home is often difficult and fraught with emotion. In some cases, it takes a level of honesty about a loved one’s condition that is troubling. Some relatives may feel hurt by the admission that their care is no longer enough, and in some cases it is the patient who is against the idea of outside help.
While the decision making process for hiring a home caregiver is complex, the benefits of in-home care are many. First, the patient and the patient’s family can find peace of mind in knowing that a professional is on hand to answer any questions and to deal with potential emergencies. Hiring a caregiver can also relieve a tremendous amount of stress from family members, and can allow them to spend more quality time with their ill relative. A caregiver can also be a confidant, allowing patients to talk about issues they may find difficult discussing with family members.
When hiring a caregiver, it’s important for you to be realistic about the level of assistance that will be needed. There are different levels of care that can be brought into the home, and caregivers can be in the home anywhere from a few hours a week to around the clock. In some cases, caregivers simply administer medications and monitor the general health of the cancer patient. Other caregivers can help with housekeeping and cooking, laundry, errands, and more personal aspects of patient care, such as bathing and dressing.
When selecting a cancer home caregiver, you’ll need to decide whether you will work with an agency or if you will hire an independent contractor. Agencies may cost more, but will give you more options and flexibility in the choice of your caregiver. You will also be able to reject unsuitable caregivers if you work with an agency.
Another crucial step in the process of hiring a home caregiver is to determine the scope of their work. Making sure both the caregiver and the patient know exactly what services will and won’t be provided can help you to avoid hassles down the road.
If you are thinking about hiring a home caregiver for a cancer patient, you have a lot of information to digest and important decisions to make. A social worker can help you navigate the process, and if you don’t already work with one act your doctor to recommend someone they trust.