Topic: Carer - what does that entail

Hi,

As my partner becomes weaker she is in need of increasing levels of care.  My problem is I dont know what I need to do for her?  What sort of help will she need?  What should I do around the house that you wouldnt normally do or do to such an extent?

My biggest concern is cleanliness - is a chemo affected immune system vulnerable to infection through hygiene?   Should I be doing more to keep the bathroom areas clean or is normal cleaning sufficient?  Do I need to be careful with the dogs and cat?  Should you shower more often?

I just dont know what I should do around here to ensure my partners best chances.

Many thanks

Ralf

Re: Carer - what does that entail

Hi Ralf... You will probably receive a list of things to watch out for but, yes, the chemo depresses the immune system.   Infections have to be avoided.  Be sure to wear a mask when contracting a cold and ask others who are in close contact with the patient to do the same.  Also, you can't wash your hands enough in this situation.
You brought up a great topic:  Caretakers rules for tending to their loved ones.
Most likely, we will have a spread sheet after all these great members   posts his or her comments.
Sending the best of wishes your way,
Hugs
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Carer - what does that entail

I started out as overly cautious and tried to make sure my sister's house was spotless and everything was so clean.  And then I realized as time went on ...the cancer was going to take her so I needed to focus on more important things.  I still made sure nobody got around her who had a cold or was sick.  And we washed our hands a lot.  Other than that, we lived as normal as any other person.  That's the way she wanted it.  She didn't want people to change lifestyles because of cancer.  So I think it's whatever you are comfortable with.

Re: Carer - what does that entail

Ralf, I don't think I do anything extra for cleaning.  I still can't get the dusting and vacuuming done much more than once a month - that's usual, but I do clean the small half bath that Charlie uses attached to our bedroom daily.  So many medicines, his aim is off if you know what I mean.  I change all the hand towels in the house every couple of days and I keep disinfecting wipes in the kitchen and both baths to use every couple of days and lots of hand washing for everybody.  We have 3 inside/outside cats and an inside dog.  They've never posed any problems, just lots of love.  I shower as normal.  I hope this helps.  I'm sure you'll both figure out what works for you.

Prayers for better tomorrows,
Carol

Re: Carer - what does that entail

Hi Ralgh...  I echo all that has already been posted.  Universal precautions for your self, by washing hands.  The rest is watching carefully seeing what she may need help with emotionally and physically as you well put it in your introduction.  Just a normal shower routine should be sufficient unless and accident happens,  Have maxipads avaiable that she may be to embarassed to ask for, due to any possible incontinence.  Watch her unsteadyness when changing clothes, to prevent any accidental falls.  Her state of mind, is it still okay to use the stove as far as turninging things off or coordination to not potentially burn herself.  Is there any women hygien articles that she has used inthe pass?  No don't go out and buy the whole store but have comfort items to maintain dignityas long as possible.  Like myself I now wear posie pads at night due to amount of lasix and water I drink makes me have some close calls in the middle of the night. Like Marion said always wash your hands after assisting, best way to eliminate the passing of germs and infections.  Hopfully her immune system does not get to an all low for sometime.  Ralh, I think you have the idea pretty much under control.  Dignity and the patient alway wanting to do for ones self will come into play and you'll have to just step in and help as time goes on.  She will do just fine Ralp, I can feel it by your query already your ther for the duration and I commend you so. God Bless You Ralp!
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Carer - what does that entail

I think you shouldnt worry about the house.Hygene with food is good and with toilets but otherwise just be careful around the people with coldsetc.The caring role I t hink just evolves to take in whats needed and changes a bit.Its a challenge to anticipate it sometimes

     good luck   Janet

Re: Carer - what does that entail

Now I have noticed you are from Australia.I am on the South nsw coast.This is a lovely supportive site but it is nice to see a person from the southern hemisphere online
                      Janet

Re: Carer - what does that entail

Hi Janet,

My partner is actually in Kurri Kurri at the moment - near Newcastle where her parents live.  I pick her up on Saturday and we are driving back to Melbourne.  Fiona plans to get drained on thursday and hoipes that we can go back via the coast road which probably takes us right past you.

Regards

Ralf

Re: Carer - what does that entail

That is a long trip for you,Iam in one of the small villages along the coast road and I will be thinking of you on your trip
                                                                  Janet