If your employee is caring for someone with cancer, they may find themselves taking on many roles and responsibilities. These can include:
- providing emotional support, physical care, and cognitive/informational support
- acting as a medical researcher, financial manager, and advocate
- facilitating communication with medical professionals and other family members
- assisting in the maintenance of social relationships
- accompanying the person to their medical appointments
The caregiving role may change over the course of the cancer and its treatment. At the time of diagnosis, caregivers may find themselves in “crisis” mode as they attempt to understand the full breadth of the disease. Eventually, most caregivers fall into a rhythm of care, which can be a time to focus on other issues including balancing work and caregiving, maintaining quality of life, and self-care.
As an employer of a caregiver, being aware of the sudden added burden can be helpful. The following sections can provide you with ideas on how to support the employee/caregiver.