Cancer Patient Care: How to Hire the Best Caregiver

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Cancer Patient Care

Cancer patients face many challenges. When a patient is recovering from surgery or undergoing treatment, he or she may need support. A skilled caregiver can provide support to clients and can give family members the assistance they need to provide excellent care to an ill spouse, parent, or child. Hiring a capable, considerate caregiver can make a difficult time easier for everyone.

Assessing Your Needs

It’s important to access care that provides what you need when you need it. Many organizations offer support in specific situations or provide help with a limited number of tasks. Sometimes, however, a cancer patient needs help with a broad range of activities. Before contacting agencies, assess what your family needs.
  • Medical. A well-trained caregiver can help the patient by administering medication, providing wound care, or pain management.
  • Personal care. Washing, bathing, dressing, and grooming can be difficult for patients to manage on their own. A capable caregiver can make maintaining personal hygiene easier.
  • Meals. A caregiver can prepare light and nutritious meals that allow patients to eat healthily.
  • Household tasks. When someone in the house is seriously ill, even simple chores can seem overwhelming. It can be a great relief to have someone to do the laundry, the vacuuming, or the dishes.
  • Companionship. Fighting illness can be an isolating experience. Caregivers also provide companionship, engaging in conversation or activities such as crafts or card games to pass the time.
  • Errands. You may require a caregiver who can escort the client on errands outside the home. Some services provide personnel who will drive the client to medical appointments, take him/her shopping, or provide a ride to church, dinner engagements, and other social events.
  • Palliative care. In some cases, end-of-life care is necessary. A compassionate caregiver can make a measurable difference to the comfort of a patient’s final days.

Choosing the Right Caregiver

Once you’ve evaluated the types of help your family requires, it’s time to start thinking about how to find an agency that can meet your needs. Here are some points to consider when you are choosing an agency:
  • Qualifications. What training and experience do the agency’s personnel have? Are they certified Personal Support Workers? Has the agency done thorough background checks on employees? Do they follow the CPCA Code of Professional Responsibility?
  • Diversity. If the patient’s first language is not English or French, look for an agency that features employees with diverse backgrounds.
  • 24/7. First, find an agency that can provide a caregiver immediately, and for as many hours as you need. Remember that your family’s needs may change over time, and look for an agency that offers round-the-clock service.
  • Flexibility. Not all agencies will send caregivers to various locations such as homes, hospitals, or retirement residences. Opt for maximum flexibility.
  • Choice. Finally, choice is paramount. The vast majority of agencies send whatever worker is available, rather than allowing the client to choose. Look for an agency that values finding a perfect match for your family.
When you or a family member has cancer, a caregiver can provide the support necessary to get the patient through a challenging time. Be sure to choose an agency that makes your needs a priority.
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