The following services are available in the community and surrounding area and are covered under most insurances and Medicare. Your physician and oncology treatment team will work together to help determine which services are appropriate and needed for each patient.
Sitter care is the most common need among families and patients who are coping with illness. Often, families are unable to care for patients due to the level of patient need or the caregiver's schedule. Sitters are individuals who come into the home and help with the daily needs of the patient. Services may include light housework, cooking, and assistance with bathing and dressing. Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of sitter care, which ranges from $8 to $12/hour. The oncology social worker can help locate sitters and provide a list of local agencies.
Visiting nurses may be needed in the course of treatment for the cancer patient. Home health care can only be ordered by a physician when a registered nurse is required for a specific skilled need of a homebound patient. These benefits are limited to short visits and are covered by most insurances. The oncology social worker can be contacted to discuss if home health care is an appropriate resource.
Hospice is a home nursing program for terminally ill patients who are no longer actively seeking curative treatment and want to be cared for in the home. Hospice care offers comprehensive services, often including coverage of diagnosis-related medicines, medical equipment, nursing visits, social work, and pastoral care. Hospice services are covered in full by most insurance programs. Patients should discuss any desired hospice care with their physician or oncology treatment team.
Nursing homes are designed to assist patients who have limited care or no caregiver in the home. Nursing home care also is beneficial for patients who need intermediate care, after a hospital stay for services such as rehabilitation or terminal care. Each insurance program varies on coverage for nursing home admissions. Medicare will often cover the first 20 days of a skilled nursing home stay if the patient has had a three-day or longer hospital admission within the past 30 days. Please contact the oncology social worker for further information regarding nursing home benefits and coverage.