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Assisted living is a housing option for those who have trouble doing everyday tasks by themselves. Though the majority of people in assisted living centers are seniors, age is not the only thing that can make independent living difficult. Illness can also impair a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Adults with advanced mesothelioma may struggle with chores, dressing, and eating, no matter their age.
When mesothelioma is advanced, a patient may be too sick to do even simple tasks alone. If no one is available to live with the patient, caring for him or her day by day, assisted living is an option. At a mesothelioma assisted living facility, patients have access to medical care as well as assistance with daily activities. Most facilities tailor services to meet the unique needs of each patient.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living facilities generally provide a range of services for residents. People living in these facilities vary in independence levels. Some may need help doing chores like laundry and cooking. Others may be unable to do any chores and need help bathing and dressing. Assisted living provides more services than an independent living community, but not as much as a nursing home. For patients who need more medical care, a nursing home with 24-hour access to medical care may be necessary.
Assisted living facilities may be part of a retirement community or senior housing complex, or they may be stand-alone facilities. Some are part of a nursing home, allowing patients to transition to the nursing facility as their needs change. Assisted living can be expensive, but it typically costs less than in-home care. For many families, this makes assisted living the best option.
Services Provided for Mesothelioma Assisted Living
Although assisted living facilities are all different, they generally include the same basic services. Facilities typically provide more or less care depending on a person’s needs. The costs of residence may also vary depending on which services a patient opts for in the residence contract.
Most assisted living facilities offer monitoring and management of basic health care needs, cleaning, housekeeping, and laundry. These facilities also provide 24-hour supervision and security, meals and snacks, social activities, outings and transportation, and medication reminders.
If necessary, facilities will offer some degree of assistance with personal care. This includes help with bathing, dressing, eating, and using the bathroom. There may also be additional supervision for patients with cognitive or developmental disabilities, or those with symptoms of dementia.
When to Choose Assisted Living
Deciding to move to an assisted living facility is not an easy choice. Whether you are a mesothelioma patient making the choice for yourself, or you are a family member deciding what is best for your loved one, there are a lot of things to consider. It is natural for the patient to feel apprehensive about the transition. He or she may feel helpless or burdensome. For the family member, making this choice may feel like shirking duty or family responsibility.
However, there are positive reasons to choose assisted living. Good reasons include social interaction for the patient and 24-hour access to care.
Choosing an Assisted Living Facility
It is important to choose a facility that makes everyone feel comfortable. Take time to visit facilities with the patient who will be living there. Go on tours and ask questions. Also, make considerations for cost, health insurance, services offered, and location.
The most important consideration for choosing an assisted living facility is ensuring your loved one will receive adequate care. Think about the level of patient care needed and be sure the facility offers services to meet those needs. Next, consider practical requirements, like the facility’s proximity to family and friends and the overall cost.
Once you have selected facilities based on these basic requirements, visit and tour those on your list. Talk to residents and caregivers, ask questions and be sure you are satisfied with the answers. Any reputable facility should make you feel comfortable with your choice, allowing you spend time in the facility and observe activities. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau and your state government to see if there are any complaints against a facility.
The Costs of Assisted Living
You want the best care, either for yourself or your loved one. However, there are practical considerations when choosing mesothelioma assisted living. Financial concerns can play a huge role in determining assisted living options. Most people pay for this kind of care out of pocket, although some health insurance policies may provide coverage for long-term care.
The costs of assisted living vary by location, facility, and services. Expenses may increase if more services are needed. The cost can be variable based on where the location, but on average it can be anywhere from $2,500 to more than $5,000 per month. Medicare does not provide coverage for assisted living care, although Medicaid may provide some assistance. There are also additional limitations when transitioning from assisted living to skilled nursing side. Veterans can make claims for coverage through the Veterans Administration, but they have a monthly limit. While this may not cover the entire cost of this service, it can be a huge help.
Transitioning to assisted living is difficult for anyone. However, when mesothelioma becomes advanced, caring for oneself becomes challenging, perhaps even impossible. Assisted living can be a great option. Although these facilities provide necessary patient care, it can also be a great option for social and recreational activities. Many patients are actually more comfortable in assisted living than struggling on their own at home.
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Anne Courtney, AOCNP, DNP
Anne Courtney has a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and is an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner. She has years of oncology experience working with patients with malignant mesothelioma, as well as other types of cancer. Dr. Courtney currently works at University of Texas LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes.