Certified Nursing Assistants and Certified Home Health Aides can provide a number of services for cancer patients who cannot handle all of their responsibilities on their own. Depending on the patient’s level of ability, these services can include:
- Assisting with hygiene needs
- Providing transportation
- Helping with light housework
- General companionship
Patients can ask for more or less care, depending on how they feel at each visit. This is especially helpful for patient with types of mesothelioma cancer, when energy levels may vary greatly from day to day.
Cancer patients may turn to at-home nursing care at any time after their prognosis. They may rely on the care on a temporary basis (such as while recovering from surgery), or they may rely on it as a long-term care solution. However, patients generally cannot rely on nursing care as their sole form of medical care. Most organizations can administer medicine and some can change catheters or clean wounds, but patients who require additional medical attention will need to consider a more comprehensive type of care.
Choosing an In-Home Care Provider
Patients and their families have a number of options for in-home care. Hospice organizations often offer outpatient services, as do independent caregiving organizations. To choose the right care provider, patients should consider several factors:
- How long has the company been in business?
- Have any patients filed complaints against the company?
- What accreditations or licenses do the caregivers hold?
- Can the caregivers provide advanced medical care if necessary?
- Are any caregivers specifically experienced in working with cancer patients?
- Does the company accept insurance? If so, is it in-network?
- If the patient plans to use government insurance, is the company Medicare-certified?
The right caregiver will also have a special rapport with the patient. Patients should feel fully comfortable with the nurse who will be helping them out around the home.
Author bio: Faith Franz researches and writes about health-related issues for The Mesothelioma Center. One of her focuses is living with cancer.