Cancer Caregiver as Hands-On Care Provider

Through our series on Cancer Caregivers, we’ve been exploring the role caregivers play in supporting a person undergoing cancer care. We looked at cancer caregivers as communicators and as decision makers. Today, we’re focusing on caregivers as a provider of hands-on care. For many caregivers, helping the patient with pain and symptom management is daily part of providing care. You may be asked to dispense pain medication or remind the patient to take a scheduled dose. You might also help refill medications and pick up prescriptions. It’s important to keep careful records of which medicines the patient has taken and when. The side effects of treatment – both during and after treatment – can be an immense burden for the patient to bear. Common side effects and symptoms may include:

  • At-Home Care and the Cancer Caregiver Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Sleep disorders
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Mood disorders
  • Depression

Often, a patient is homebound or has been discharged from a healthcare facility when these symptoms manifest. Doctors and nurses aren’t always on-hand to alleviate these conditions. It falls on the patient and his or her caregivers to cope with the physical and emotional fallout during and after treatment and as the disease progresses.

Resources for Cancer Caregivers

The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health provides resources for understanding the symptoms and side effects of cancer treatment. Consider these helpful tools if you are a cancer caregiver helping a patient with hands-on care:

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, contact Natural Horizons to learn about alternative cancer treatments and complementary cancer therapies. We offer a FREE consultation:1-877-292-1571

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