Living Options for Seniors with Mesothelioma

Assisted Living CareAfter receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis, patients and their families must decide where the patient should live while receiving care. Some patients prefer to stay in their own homes throughout the entire process, traveling to hospitals for treatment and hiring home health aides when they need assisted care. Other patients require round-the-clock symptom management and prefer inpatient living arrangements with 24-hour access to a medical staff.

Patients may choose their living arrangement based on the severity of symptoms, progression of their disease, overall condition or other similar factors. Mesothelioma symptoms often intensify over time, so patients may need to change their arrangement over the course of their cancer. If their current care provider can still meet their expanding needs with the addition of a few new services, patients may also prefer to stay where they are and simply increase their care package.

After receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis, patients and their families must decide where the patient should live while receiving care. Some patients prefer to stay in their own homes throughout the entire process, traveling to hospitals for treatment and hiring home health aides when they need assisted care. Other patients require round-the-clock symptom management and prefer inpatient living arrangements with 24-hour access to a medical staff.

Patients may choose their living arrangement based on the severity of symptoms, progression of their disease, overall condition or other similar factors. Mesothelioma symptoms often intensify over time, so patients may need to change their arrangement over the course of their cancer. If their current care provider can still meet their expanding needs with the addition of a few new services, patients may also prefer to stay where they are and simply increase their care package.

In-Home Care
In-home care is ideal for patients who only need basic medical attention or assistance with a few personal responsibilities. Nurses can come on a daily basis, or they may space out their visits if the patient already has family and friends acting as caregivers.

Home health aides can help patients with their activities of daily living. These include:

  • Showering
  • Toileting
  • Getting dressed
  • Driving
  • Eating/meal preparation
  • Light housekeeping

Home health care providers may also offer companionship and emotional support to mesothelioma patients through this trying time. However, most home nurses cannot provide advanced medical care, so patients requiring extensive symptom management may wish to consider a more comprehensive inpatient program.

Inpatient Care
Mesothelioma patients also have several inpatient care options. Patients who do not wish to pursue advanced medical care may consider assisted living facilities. This living option allows patients to stay in a specially designed community where caregivers can provide palliative care and personal care services. Patients receive 24-hour emergency monitoring and have access to community activities, but they generally do not receive any advanced medical care.

Terminally ill mesothelioma patients may consider inpatient hospice care as well.  Patients can obtain these services at basic hospitals, Medicare or Medicaid facilities or even designated inpatient hospice programs. Inpatient hospice care is typically provided for a shorter period of time than outpatient hospice care, although it provides most of the same palliative end-of-life services.

There are multiple options for mesothelioma patients seeking care assistance, whether at home or an inpatient facility with round-the-clock care. The key to finding the right one for you is taking the time to research your options, visit potential facilities, speak with caregivers, and ask as many questions as necessary to feel  comfortable with your decision.

Author bio: Faith Franz researches and writes about health-related issues for The Mesothelioma Center. One of her focuses is living with cancer.