Cancer home care can be a temporary need or a long-term requirement. The timeframe depends on the specific needs of a patient. Usually, someone who has undergone a surgery or has spent a long time at a hospital and would require a few weeks to recover shall need temporary cancer home care. It is possible a caregiver would have to be appointed from time to time as and when necessary. Those who are terminally ill due to any type of cancer that is beyond surgery and other treatments may need long term care. The nature of cancer home care will also vary, regardless of how long one needs limited or comprehensive assistance.
Cancer home care may be limited to assisting with daily tasks and offering general physical support as well as emotional support. It may also include special care such as attending to ostomy or a wound. Caregivers can be nurses or personal attendants. It is not necessary to have someone who is a registered nurse. Personal attendants can be capable caregivers. However, registered nurses would be better if there is a need to provide medical care at home. Personal attendants can be fitting companions and would also be able to administer medicines, help with daily personal chores and even take care of cleaning, laundry and cooking.
There are many kinds of cancer home care and families can choose the scope of service at the time of appointing a caregiver. There are also many ways to look for an appropriate caregiver. There are homecare agencies that usually have therapists, nurses, home caregivers and social workers. These agencies can help families to plan the actual care, so all needs of patients are attended to. There are independent personal attendants, staffing agencies and homecare registries you may consider. You may want to prioritise agencies or registries that are licensed and hence regulated. Many independent personal attendants or caregivers operate without a license and hence are not subjected to any regulation.
If you choose a licensed agency, then you can bestow the quintessential accountability on them, but this is not possible if you appoint an independent caregiver. The family is responsible for all screening and selection criteria as well as supervision. Families can rely on references and provable credentials while appointing independent caregivers but since cancer is a complicated disease, it is better to choose a credible agency that has a whole team at their discretion to provide the support a patient’s needs.