The Caregiver's Role

The caregiver plays many roles during cancer treatment. Tasks range from simple—and occasional—like driving the cancer patient to the doctor—to more complex, full-time care. The demands on caregivers often change over time.

Some of the types of help caregivers provide include:

  • Cooking, cleaning, and other household chores
  • Running errands such as buying groceries and getting prescriptions filled
  • Helping the cancer patient bathe, get dressed, use the bathroom, eat, and take medicine
  • Paying bills and filing insurance claims
  • Providing encouragement and support to the patient, and helping him or her stay in touch with friends and family members
  • Telling the doctor if the patient gets worse or has side effects from treatment