Your transplant center will require that you have a caregiver—someone who will help care for you during and after your transplant. Your caregiver will play an important role in your transplant and recovery, so you will need to understand the role and what it means to be a caregiver.
Choosing a caregiver
A parent, spouse, partner or other close family member is often the natural choice to serve as caregiver. Some patients form a team of family and friends to help them. Talk with your family and health care team about your caregiver's responsibilities. Make sure the caregiver you choose is able to fill the role.
Questions for the patient to consider:
- You might have to be at the hospital for long periods of time. Is your caregiver comfortable in the hospital setting?
- Will your caregiver be able attend your medical appointments with you?
- Can your caregiver manage stressful situations?
- Do you and your caregiver get along? Do you talk through disagreements?
- Will your caregiver support your health care choices?
- Will your caregiver be a strong advocate for you?
Connect with other patients and caregivers on Patients Connect Facebook page.
Questions for the caregiver to consider:
- Will I be allowed to take a leave (Family Medical Leave Act — FMLA) or an extended absence from work?
- Will I have others to help me with my own responsibilities while I am caring for the patient?
Before agreeing to serve as a caregiver, you and your caregiver may want to ask the health care team:
- What exactly does a caregiver do?
- What does a caregiver have to know to be a caregiver?
- How long will the caregiver have to care for the patient?
- Resources are available to help caregivers on their journey. Learn more about the caregiver’s role or access support resources to help caregivers.
Having a community of caregivers
If you do not have anyone who can care for you full time, you may want to think about asking others like extended family, friends and co-workers to team up and help share in the responsibilities. Multiple caregivers can not only share roles, but they can also provide assistance and support to one another while you are healing.
Lotsa Helping Hands is a free, easy online tool your caregivers can use to organize meals, rides or other tasks. This private group online calendar allows your team to see what help is needed and when. So everyone can pitch in to help make the transplant patient's life run more smoothly.