When your loved one is going through cancer treatment, it may be difficult for them to share their thoughts and feelings with the larger healthcare team. Treatment is an exhausting process, both physically and emotionally, which may drain your loved one of the needed energy to advocate for themselves. As a caregiver, an important part of your role is acting as a “middle man” between your loved one and their healthcare team. Even if you feel very comfortable representing your loved one, the amount of information, opinions, and decisions to sort through can feel overwhelming at times – particularly if you are also tired, worried for your loved one, and uncomfortable in a hospital setting.

The resources below may help you organize your thoughts, ask the right questions when you interact with providers and hospital staff, and make sure you are supported through the process of advocating for your loved one.

My UNC Chart
Every patient within the UNC Healthcare system is registered on MyUNCChart which allows them and their loved ones to access to medical files and communicate with providers.

Caregiving at the Hospital
Cancer.net
Provides tips for navigating care for your loved one while at the hospital.

Questions to ask the Doctor
Cancer.net

The Important Steps Caregivers and Patient Advocates Should Take When a Patient is Discharged from the Hospital
My Home Visit Comprehensive Quality Healthcare

Becoming A Patient Advocate for Your Loved One
Visiting Nurse Services of New York
Provides strategies that patients’ family members can follow to stay organized and keep the patient comfortable during their stay at the hospital.

Patient Advocate: An Important Role For Caregivers
Get Palliative Care
Though primarily focused on caregivers advocating for the older adult patient, this resource may be useful to caregivers of loved ones with cancer at any age. It explains the role of the advocate and provides a list of essential questions caregivers might want to consider when discussing treatment options with providers.

For more information about your legal and financial responsibilities as a caregiver, check out the pages below:

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