Acute Myeloid Leukemia
For the Caregiver
Caring for a loved one with AML is an important responsibility. Different types of treatment will mean your loved one may need certain types of care, and your flexibility and patience for continuously changing how you help will be crucial. Talk with your loved one’s health care team about the current and potential treatment plan to help you prepare for what is ahead.
Regardless of treatment, you will likely help with attending and keeping track of medical appointments, managing medications, running errands, updating family members and friends, and being a source of support. If your loved one has a stem cell transplant, your responsibilities may also include the following:
- Cleaning the home before your loved one’s return from the hospital. Ask the medical team for guidelines regarding cleaning and meal preparation.
- Monitoring for signs of infection and other complications.
- Communicating changes and concerns to the medical team.
- Driving to the outpatient clinic daily or weekly.
- Taking care of dressings or a central venous catheter and at times deliver medicine through the catheter, if applicable.
You will be more effective as a caregiver when you pay attention to your own physical and emotional health. Follow a healthy diet and exercise daily. Nurture your well-being by setting aside time to read, walk or relax.
Caregivers who have been in your shoes can also be a source of support and information. Check with an advocacy group or ask a member of your loved one’s health care team for a referral to an AML support group. Lastly, ask for and accept help.