People with cancer often take many medications. Following the doctor’s orders can be hard. Patients may have a hard time keeping track, and accidentally skip a dose. Also, cancer drugs can cause side effects.
Dealing with practical matters
If you stay in touch with healthcare providers treating the cancer, you’ll likely have a better understanding of the disease and treatment. You’ll be better able to help the patient make decisions, and better able to anticipate his or her needs.
If you are caring for someone with cancer who lives more than an hour away, that’s “caring from afar” or helping from a distance. It can be emotionally and practically difficult. But you can help.
Cancer can be a huge financial burden on families. Many treatment-related costs are not covered by insurance. You may also have additional, non-medical expenses like transportation, in-home care, childcare, etc.
Many people find it hard to balance work and caregiving. Medical appointments and other tasks can interrupt your work day. You may be sleeping poorly or distracted by feelings of anger, depression, or anxiety. You may find yourself working few hours or not as well.
During treatment the person with cancer may need to go to the hospital or clinic often over the course of many weeks. Because treatment can cause weakness, pain, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting, he or she may not be able to drive him or herself.
Most homes are not designed for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses. Follow these tips to improve home safety. You might also ask a home healthcare worker to check the home for hazards.