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What do people without families do?

Home forums Patient Message Board What do people without families do?

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    Mark Topaz

    I read so much about caregivers and what they have to and how important they are to recovery. Well, not everyone has spouses or children or living parents. What are we supposed to do? Where can I find information dealing with folks who don’t have anyone to be a caregiver? I have friends but that’s not the same and my best friend retired and moved across the country. The rest of my friends aren’t seniors and they still work. I told the doctor I could hire people but she seemed dismissive when I brought it up. I’m not crazy about the idea either but may not have a choice.

    Kathy Stermer

    Hey Mark, we spoke on the phone when you were first diagnosed. It’s a tough decision to go through with transplant or not and you do need to have someone available to help in a caregiver role. If you’re connected to a transplant center don’t they have social workers or care coordinators to help you navigate this aspect if considering transplant? Am sure there are others in your situation they have been able to help. You have to be your own best advocate and push for what you wan/need. Where I worked with transplant families they also had “care partners” people who volunteered to help those who needed it. Keep asking what options are available to you.


    I had my transplant at 59. The plan was that I’d stay w a family member when I was released. However the night before discharge this fell through. I told no one. Lol. I was afraid they’d make me stay! So, I was discharged to my home alone. I had a friend from out of town come in once a month to cook for me. She’d fill my freezer. Also had the house cleaned once a month. I was able to do basics, like wiping down counters, cleaning sinks, etc. but the rest I left for others to do. I had groceries delivered. So many protein shakes. It’s doable, just wasn’t fun. I did have transportation for appointments. That can also be arranged through the American cancer society. You may need to Uber until you feel well enough to drive. I was lucky. I had no complications. You can hire aides to come in as needed to cook, clean, change your port dressing. You need to flush it once a day, but that’s easy. I don’t recommend this situation at all, but we do what we have to. I was told prior to transplant that if I didn’t have a caretaker they would not do do the transplant. Found out later they would have helped locate nursing staff as needed. Hope it all works out for you.

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