It’s nice for a patient to return to the comforts of home. Homes are more peaceful than hospitals and more private. They offer a familiarity that can be much more inviting than a bustling clinical setting out of town.
But patients will still need assistance while they are recovering or experiencing side effects. They will need someone to help with tasks they are too fatigued for, assistance with errands and monitoring their health for positive or adverse changes.
Homecare provides a unique balance between the high-level care of the hospital in the familiar setting of a patient’s own home.
What Is Homecare for Mesothelioma Patients?
With homecare, families may hire a caregiver who works in patients’ homes, providing assistance with daily tasks as well as companionship. A caregiver may help with medication as well as basic health and hygiene tasks that may have become too difficult for the patient. This includes assistance with dressing, bathing, and dining.
Some caregivers will cook for patients, crafting up wholesome and nutritious meals. They can also take the reins on house maintenance and upkeep, providing or managing the cleaning of the home.
In addition to assisting with basic personal tasks like these, at-home caregivers often have the ultra-important role of monitoring the patient’s health. This means observing the effects of treatments and watching for critical changes in wellbeing.
Caregivers can note any unusual side effects or concerning signs and ensure the patient discusses this with their doctor. On the other hand, a caregiver may also be the first to notice positive indications.
Benefits of Homecare for Mesothelioma Patients
The benefits of homecare can be looked at in contrast to the advantages of hospice care. While hospice care is associated with palliative care, home care is beneficial for any patient, including those with early-stage mesothelioma and those with relatively good prognoses.
Often early-stage patients will just be coming off treatments. They may be recovering from radical surgery or in between rounds of chemotherapy. This is often when non-palliative patients need the most help.
In other cases, homecare for mesothelioma can double as general senior care. Because the majority of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are older (the average age of diagnosis is 73), some patients could benefit from at-home care despite having cancer. Having a caregiver to add ease to their day and provide a positive presence may provide value both in terms of their battle with mesothelioma as well as in terms of general assisted living.
As well as providing significant benefits for mesothelioma patients themselves, having an in-home caretaker can be advantageous for family caregivers. Family caregivers who need some relief or time to attend to their other needs, work obligations and relationships can take comfort in knowing their loved one is well cared for in the meantime.
Finding a Good Home Caregiver
Patients will not only spend a lot of time with their in-home caregiver, but they also entrust critical tasks to them such as medication management, health monitoring and food prep among many other things.
It’s absolutely essential that you find a home caregiver that is dependable, trustworthy and up to speed. This is a very important job, and whether you select a skilled caregiver or someone who’s less comfortable in the role will make a great deal of difference in a patient’s life.
Some factors you will want to consider when selecting a home care provider include:
- How established the agency is
- Its hiring practices and training methodologies
- Benefits and policies protecting employees
- Transparency and communication with patient families
- Emergency management procedures
- Whether quality of service is monitored by supervisors
- Handling of confidential patient information
- Experience with cancer patients
- Channels for complaints or concerns
- Any specializations the provider may have
In addition to carefully considering these factors and asking providers to demonstrate how and whether they meet your expectations, you should also request references. Get in touch with the references and get detailed feedback on the provider. Once you are certain of a provider’s reputation, you can confidently move forward.
The accrediting agencies for providers are:
|The Accreditation Commission for Health Care, Inc.||www.achc.org
|Community Health Accreditation Program||www.chapinc.org
|Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations||www.jointcommission.org
Financing Mesothelioma Homecare
Many insurance plans will cover home visits, but most do not cover round-the-clock care. Others will cover skilled care, but not personal care. Medicare and Medicaid will cover part-time home care from skilled medical workers. These include professionals such as doctors, nurses, and physical therapists.
Generally, individuals will usually have to pay for the services provided by homemaker/attendant care agencies. Private duty homecare agencies and independent providers will typically have to be paid for by individuals as well. Patients who meet the requirements of The Older Americans Act or VA’s Skilled Home Health Care Services (SHHC) and Homemaker and Home Health Aide Services (H/HHA), can often have this type of care covered.
How to Decide if Homecare Is Right for You
Deciding whether homecare is right for you (or your loved one with mesothelioma) involves many considerations, including
- Family members’ schedules
- Patient wishes
- Patient’s ability to manage their own tasks
- Patient’s disease stage
- General patient health
For some, hospice care may be a more appropriate option, and sometimes in-home hospice care can even be arranged. Luckily, most patients can find a homecare solution that works for them. This is because there are many options for homecare, consisting of various levels of involvement.
Patients can have a health aide, a less involved personal attendant or even just a companion to keep good company. At the end of the day, the choice is up to the patient and their family, but it’s best to assess needs realistically.
Whichever type of care you choose, ensure the patient’s needs are being met and that the quality of care is of the highest standard possible. Dealing with mesothelioma is difficult for all parties involved, so the patient’s care, comfort and quality of life should be of the utmost importance.
We can answer all your questions about home and/or hospice care and provide informational resources to help in your decision making.