A diagnosis of blood cancer dramatically affects the lives of families and all others who have a relationship with the patient. The patient and the entire family will experience an emotional, physical and, possibly, financial impact. Both patient and caregiver usually need to rearrange daily activities to some degree - changes that may not come easily.
In November 2009, National Alliance for Caregiving, in collaboration with AARP, estimated that there were 65.7 million people in the United States who provided care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year.
Family caregivers are a vital extension of the healthcare team. Blood cancers are often treated on an outpatient basis, leaving the responsibility of the details of patient management to a caregiver.
Caregiving often starts gradually with tasks such as driving to medical appointments, shopping for groceries and housecleaning. Over time, this can even lead to round-the-clock care and can sometimes feel overwhelming. Your tasks may grow to include feeding, bathing, supervising medications, arranging medical care and managing financial and legal affairs.
Care for the Caregiver
As a caregiver, you need as much information and support as the person with cancer does. After all, if you sacrifice your own health and well-being, you won't be at your best to effectively care for a loved one.
With careful planning, good self-care and a knowledge of available help, your job can be less stressful. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society offers a wide range of programs that help both patients and caregivers.
Are you a caregiver?
Learn strategies and suggestions to be at your best to help your loved one.Read More
You're Not Alone
The best way to care for a loved one is to care for yourself. Reach out to others who are in similar situations or have been through a similar experience.Read More
More to Explore
- Finding emotional support
- Support and programs for caregivers
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS's) free booklet Each New Day
- Download or order LLS's free booklet Coping with Childhood Leukemia or Lymphoma
- Visit LLS's Resource Center for other caregiver resources, support and counseling
- For additional information and support for caregivers of people with cancer, visit CancerCare and the Family Caregiver Alliance.