How do I get help, such as someone to assist with housework, for a relative undergoing cancer treatment that also lives alone?

4 answers | Last updated: Aug 06, 2012
A fellow caregiver asked...

My husbands nephews wife has cancer and is on a feeding tube and taking treatments for her cancer. She lives alone. How can I get help for her,such as someone to assist her in her housework, cooking, etc?

Expert Answers


There are several ways you can find in-home help, someone to do housework, chores, or nursing care. First you can try a home health care agency; these are basically job placement services that specialize in providing in-home help for people who are ill or disabled, including seniors. Agencies will match a worker to your situation and usually handle most of the paperwork and supervision. The second way is to hire someone independently, where you interview candidates, and handle the paperwork and supervision. Both ways can work well. Hiring through an agency almost always costs more than hiring independently. To find agencies, check on-line or in the telephone directory under "home health care" or "visiting nurses." To find independent workers, ask local senior centers, churches or senior organizations for referrals. Also check local classified ads in a newspaper or on-line. For help finding independent or agency workers, try the local Area Agency on Aging, which links you to local senior services. It takes a lot of leg work to find a worker, but once someone is in place, it makes a huge difference.

Community Answers

Billf answered...

Great answer Kate,

I have to agree. But, I would advise to go for an agency, especially when you are talking about care for a loved one. I would also advise you to request references from any in-home care organization that you contact. Also, ask them how they screen/background check their caregivers, just to be safe.

I work on two in-home care/aging in place blogs. We answer questions and write on these topics all the time. If you are interested in learning more, check out

Best, Bill

Cccarter2005 answered...

Dear Kate altho Rightathome is right to a degree--I have found some agencys are TERRIBLE but also you can find that with Independent people. I persoanlly HATE Agencies. They hire people for 7-$8.00 an hr and charge 17-$22.! For tht price you could get a private LPN --probley! But no matter which way you go DO BACKGROUND cks, get references you cannot get enough--but remember every person is different and some more and some less compatible with your your loved ones than others. Good luck in your ssearch it is not easy. God Bless! Carol

Kjohnson answered...

There are many home care agencies that are available as resources. Most of them accept long term care or government subsidized private care (if you are a vet). A huge factor is the quality of the caregivers that are assigned to you. Home Care Assistance has a training called the balanced care method in which they train all their caregivers on the importance of nutrition and activities that stimulate the mind and body.