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Role of the Transplant Caregiver

Contact Information

(608) 265-1700 (clinic)

The Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant program at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin has served adult patients since 1981 and pediatric patients since 1982.

 

Planning and Hospital Time

 

Your role as a caregiver will change over time. In the beginning you will help the patient plan for the transplant process. Think about what is needed for the patient while away from home. Once hospitalized, you can assist the patient by spending time with them and making sure the doctors and nurses understand the patient's needs and concerns.

 

Post-transplant Responsibilities

 

Your most important role will be to help the patient to recover at home after discharge. It may take several weeks for the patient to be strong enough to stay on their own for long periods of time. Some of the tasks you can expect to perform include:

  • Assisting with scheduled medicines
  • Identifying any changes or new symptoms
  • Caring for a PICC line or other central venous catheter
  • Knowing what to do in an emergency
  • Calling for medical help when needed
  • Keeping a clean and comfortable home environment
  • Helping to prepare/provide meals for patient
  • Providing transportation or arranging rides to and from the clinic

Caregiver Tips

  • The patient is not the only person who will be spending more time away from home. This is a good time to plan for your absence as well.
  • If you need to stay at a hotel while the patient is receiving care, your transplant coordinator can help you find accommodations for your stay.
  • If you live far away from the hospital, make sure the patient's and your bills and mail are forwarded to the hospital or to a trusted family member.
  • If necessary, write a list of chores you will need help with while you are focusing on care for your patient.