What can my caregiver expect?
Your caregivers are very actively involved during the pre-transplant and post-transplant process. Their responsibility after discharge from the hospital significantly increases as they are required to alter their lifestyle and needs to assist you. It is important that caregivers are provided emotional support and
monitored for signs of distress and fatigue. The role of a caregiver may include: *
- Providing emotional support
- Providing physical care during and after hospitalization
- Caring for the central line (catheter)
- Helping with administration of oral medications
- Recording the medications taken
- Giving intravenous fluids and medications using a pump device
- Identifying changes in the patient’s condition
- Obtaining medical care if needed
- Reporting symptoms to health care staff
- Gathering information
- Keeping family members and friends up-to-date about the patient’s condition
- Monitoring the number of visitors
- Maintaining a clean home environment after hospitalization
- Preparing food
- Providing transportation to and from the hospital for follow-up care
Knowing that your caregiver is well prepared for his/her responsibilities may give you greater confidence. Organizations exist that support caregiver needs, and it may be worth the time to contact these groups. Sharing unique concerns
with other caregivers and receiving mutual support can help. Check if caregiver discussion groups are offered at the transplant center. This is a good place to voice concerns and get practical suggestions about caregiver responsibilities.
Caregivers won’t want to burden the patient with additional problems, and these groups may provide needed support for them.
Selecting A Caregiver
The most important consideration in selecting a caregiver is to make sure that your primary caregiver is someone you feel comfortable with and is someone who cares deeply for you. Other things you may wish to consider include whether
or not the caregiver will feel comfortable in a hospital environment. Most SCT units have workshops to train caregivers in necessary skills and are also able to provide additional help with certain tasks for those who need it.
*Source: “Patient and Caregiver Manual, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Transplant Program”
Please call the Link at 1-800-LINK-BMT (800-546-5268) or e-mail us for more information.
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