Caregivers can help people with cancer in a variety of ways. They can provide companionship, respite care, and home health aide services such as bathing, dressing, eating, and mobility assistance. They can also help manage pain, medication, and other medical conditions. Caregiving support can be paid for by long-term care insurance, traditional insurance, or government programs such as Medicaid.
To find a caregiver, talk with your health care team about the specific needs you or your loved one has and ask for recommendations. You can then contact agencies that employ a staff of caregivers for hire. These may have nurses or home helpers on staff or refer you to registries or staffing services that can match you with pre-screened caregivers. You can also choose to hire independent contractors yourself using online tools that allow you to screen, interview, and hire directly. You will have more control with this approach but it will take more time and work.
When choosing a caregiver, consider their personality and whether they would be a good fit for your family and your relative. If possible, get a referral from a friend who has hired a caregiving provider for their own elderly family member. This way, you can trust the recommendation. If you do get a referral, ask your friend what they like about their caregiver and ask if you can interview the person. It is a good idea to have a written contract in place, which will spell out the duties and responsibilities of both parties.