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Taking care of a cancer patient can be rewarding and stressful at the same time. While it feels good to be able to take care of a loved one at home where he or she can be comfortable, it can be stressful on the cancer caregiver. Advanced cancer patients require round-the-clock care--depending on the type of cancer and medications prescribed, the caregiver may have to wake up many times during the night to give the patient medications or check vital signs.
Cancer patient caregivers should also make sure they have all of the emergency contact information where it can be found. If there should be an emergency and the cancer patient needs to be transported to the closest hospital and that hospital is not the treating hospital, the doctors will need to know all of the medications that the cancer patient is on. The doctors will also need to know about any medical treatments the cancer patient is undergoing (such as chemotherapy).
The cancer patient caregiver should be sure to get plenty of rest and take care of him or herself. Hospice staff can come in to help the cancer patient caregiver and give the caregiver a break for a few hours. Hospices also offers overnight care, so that the primary caregiver can get some rest and be at full working potential during the daylight hours.