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

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 Answer


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.