Caring for a Loved One with Cancer
Types of Cancer Treatment. A to Z List of Cancer Drugs. Questions to Ask about Your Treatment. Questions to Ask About Cancer. Talking about Your Advanced Cancer. Planning for Advanced Cancer.
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Advanced Cancer and Caregivers. Questions to Ask about Advanced Cancer. Finding Health Care Services. Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer. Reports, Research, and Literature. Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Treatment. Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment. Bioinformatics, Big Data, and Cancer. Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. One fee would fund patient services, such as patient navigators, who are not typically reimbursed because they are not coded treatments; the other would fund caregiver support services.
Both fees could be paid several times a year on a sliding scale, according to prespecified benchmarks of performance using documented metrics. Bigger, forward-thinking employers are potential allies in funding family caregiver programs if they work directly with cancer centers that treat employees or family members or if they partner with an insurer. After all, employers suffer losses when employees who have a seriously ill family member miss work.
Research consistently shows the benefits of well-planned services that support family caregivers in a role for which they often are ill prepared cognitively and emotionally. It is time to move beyond the concept of merely patient-centered care and place both the patient and the family caregiver at the center of care that benefits all stakeholders in the complex task of serving patients with cancer.
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Relationships are self-held unless noted. Relationships may not relate to the subject matter of this manuscript. For more information about ASCO's conflict of interest policy, please refer to www. No relationship to disclose. Article Tools Care Delivery Review. Search for articles by this author. Developing Effective Communication Skills. The State of Cancer Care in America, Results of an Episode Payment Model. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: My husband is dying.
Caring for him is an emotional roller coaster. Washington Post, June 2, Google Scholar. Caregiving in the US. Objective burden, resources, and other stressors among informal cancer caregivers: A hidden quality issue? Care of the caregiver: Stress and dysregulation of inflammatory control in cancer caregivers. J Clin Oncol Depression and physical health among family caregivers of geriatric patients with cancer--a longitudinal view.
Med Sci Monit Effects of gender, relationship, and appraisal. J Pain Symptom Manage Support Care Cancer Anxiety, depression, and quality of life in caregivers of patients with cancer in late palliative phase. Cancer family caregivers during the palliative, hospice, and bereavement phases: A review of the descriptive psychosocial literature. Palliat Support Care 9: Essentials for improving service quality in cancer care. Yabroff KR , Kim Y: Time costs associated with informal caregiving for cancer survivors. Estimating the quantity and economic value of family caregiving for community-dwelling older persons in the last year of life.
J Am Geriatr Soc A piece of my mind.
One-year outcomes in caregivers of critically ill patients. N Engl J Med Psychosocial care for family caregivers of patients with cancer. Health behaviour and weight changes after becoming a caregiver of a family member diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The risk of caring for an underserved patient with advanced cancer. Kim Y , Given BA: Quality of life of family caregivers of cancer survivors: Across the trajectory of the illness.
Immune dysregulation and chronic stress among older adults: Caregiving and risk of coronary heart disease in U. Am J Prev Med The financial toxicity of cancer treatment: Wittenberg E , Prosser LA: Health as a family affair. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: Families caring for an aging America.
Interventions with family caregivers of cancer patients: Meta-analysis of randomized trials. Another type of respite uses a specialized, local facility where the patient may stay for a few days or even a few weeks. This gives the caregiver a chance to take a vacation from caregiving and catch their breath, whether or not they leave town.
Depending on your state, Medicaid or Medicare may help cover respite costs. Caregiving alone for any period of time is not realistic. Reach out to others. Involve them in your life and in the things you must do for your loved one. Some caregivers feel they have to do it all alone. Set realistic limits on what you can do. You may end up seriously injured or sick and become unable to help anyone. There are ways you can safely help a person sit up or walk but you have to learn to do it without hurting yourself.
This is where expert help is needed — home care nurses or physical therapists can show you how to do it safely. They can also help you get special equipment, if needed. When you need help, reach out to others, including professionals. The support of friends and family is key to both the person with cancer and the caregiver.
Caregiving for Your Loved One With Cancer
There are many kinds of support programs, including one-on-one or group counseling and support groups. A support group can be a powerful tool for both people with cancer and those who care about them. Talking with others who are in situations like yours can help ease loneliness. You can also get useful ideas from others that might help you.
Talk with a nurse or social worker or contact your local American Cancer Society to learn about services in your area. Talking with other caregivers can help you feel less alone. Other organizations have internet-based groups and even online counseling, too. Through online or in person support groups, people can share their stories, offer practical advice, and support each other through shared experiences. Religion can be a source of strength for some people. Some members of the clergy are specially trained to help people with cancer and their families. People who are not religious may find spiritual support in other ways.
Caregivers need a range of support services to stay healthy, be good caregivers, and stay in the caregiving role. Caregivers have been shown to have less distress and feel less burdened when they have social support. Human connections can help you stay strong. Let people know what you need and ask for help. You cannot and should not try to be responsible for all the caregiving by yourself. You need to know who you can talk to and count on for help.
Families facing cancer can become stronger. Church members, neighbors, and others may be willing to help. Allowing others to help can take some of the pressure off and give you time to take care of yourself. Often family and friends want to help but may not know how or what you need. Here are some tips for including family and friends:. There are many online resources that can help you manage your job as caregiver. Some sites offer support for people caring for a loved one who has cancer. Other sites have features like group calendars to organize helpers and areas to create personal websites that concerned people can access for updates.
MyLifeLine is one example.. Some of these also allow others to sign up for specific tasks when help is needed. Taking full advantage of the resources available to you is another way you can take care of yourself.
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They may start to have trouble in school or act like they did when they were younger. Caregiving itself can be a full-time job, but many caregivers already have paying jobs. This can lead to work-related issues like missed days, low productivity, and work interruptions. Some caregivers even need to take unpaid leave, turn down promotions, or lose work benefits.