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Mesothelioma and Assisted Living

Assisted living is a type of residence for adults that have trouble doing everyday tasks by themselves. Many people in assisted living are seniors, but it is not just aging that makes ordinary activities difficult; illness can impair people too. Adults of any age with advanced mesothelioma may struggle to get household chores done or even just to get dressed, bathe, or eat.

When mesothelioma is advanced, when it has developed in the later stages, a patient may be too sick to do these things alone. If no one is available to live with the patient and to care for him day by day, assisted living is an option. At a mesothelioma assisted living facility patients get access to the medical care they need and the ordinary help doing daily activities. Most facilities will tailor services to meet the unique needs of each patient.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is any kind of facility that provides a range of services to help residents. The people living in these facilities range from those that need help doing chores like laundry and cooking to those that cannot do any kinds of chores at all or need help with things like bathing and dressing. Assisted living provides more care and services than an independent living community, but not as much as a nursing home. For those patients that need more medical care, a nursing home with medical care may be needed.

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, so that patients can transition to the nursing facility as their needs change. Assisted living is not cheap, but it is also typically less expensive than having in-home care for a mesothelioma patient. For many families, this makes assisted living the best option for addressing a patient’s needs.

Services Provided for Mesothelioma Assisted Living

The services that assisted living facilities provide to residents and patients may vary, but generally all include most of the basic kinds of services. These facilities also typically provide more or less care depending on each individual’s needs. The costs of residence may also vary depending on which services a patient needs and opts for in the residence contract.

Some of the services most assisted living facilities offer include monitoring and management of basic health care needs, cleaning, housekeeping, and laundry, 24-hour supervision and security, all meals and snacks in a dining room, recreational and social activities, outings and transportation, and reminders about medication.

Many facilities also offer some degree of assistance with personal care, if needed. This includes help with bathing, dressing, eating, and using the bathroom. There may also be assistance and additional supervision for patients with cognitive or developmental disabilities, or those with symptoms of dementia.

When to Choose Assisted Living

Choosing assisted living is not easy, whether you are the mesothelioma patient making the choice for yourself, or if you are the family member trying to decide what is best for your loved one. In either instance the choice to move to assisted living is a big one and should not be taken lightly. It is natural for the patient to feel bad about the transition, to feel helpless or as if he or she is becoming a burden. For the family member, making this choice may feel like giving up or transferring responsibility.

On both sides of this issue, there are very good reasons to choose assisted living and for many it is a very positive choice that makes life easier for everyone. Some reasons to choose assisted living include not having someone who can stay home with the mesothelioma patient at all times, being unable to afford the cost of in-home care, or simply making the patient feel more comfortable and safe.

Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

Once the initial decision is made, the next step is to select a facility that will make everyone comfortable. Take the time to visit facilities, with the patient who will be living there. Take tours and ask questions and also make considerations for practical matter such as cost, health insurance, services offered, and location.

The most basic consideration for choosing an assisted living facility is ensuring that your loved one will receive adequate care. Think about the level of care the patient will need and be sure that the facility you select offers enough services to meet those needs. Then start to think about practical requirements, like finding a facility that is close enough to family and friends for regular visits. Consider the overall costs and whether or not you can afford it.

Once you have selected facilities based on these most basic requirements, visit and tour those on your list. Talk to residents and caregivers and ask all questions and be sure you are satisfied with the answers. Any reputable facility will not hesitate to take the time to make you feel comfortable with your choice and will let you stay for the whole day to participate in activities and meals. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau and the state to see if there are any complaints against a facility that raise red flags.

The Costs of Assisted Living

You want the best care, either for yourself or your loved one on whose behalf you are acting, but there are practical considerations to make when choosing mesothelioma assisted living. These include costs. You need to be sure you can afford assisted living and that you will continue to be able to afford it for the duration of the patient’s life. Most people pay for this kind of care out of pocket, although some health insurance policies may have some coverage for long-term care.

The costs of assisted living vary widely by location, facility, and services offered. The costs may go up if more services are needed. Expect to see costs ranging from $2,500 to $3,500 per month. Medicare does not provide coverage for this kind of care, although Medicaid may provide some assistance. Veterans can make claims for coverage through the Veterans Administration, for up to $1,650 per month. It is not enough to cover care, but it can help, and it most often comes as reimbursement.

Transitioning to an assisted living facility is difficult for anyone, but when mesothelioma becomes advanced, caring for oneself becomes challenging, and even impossible. Assisted living can be a great option, providing a patient with all needed care, but also providing activities and social opportunities. Many patients are much more comfortable in assisted living than struggling at home.

Page edited by Dave Foster

Dave has been a mesothelioma Patient Advocate for over 10 years. He consistently attends all major national and international mesothelioma meetings. In doing so, he is able to stay on top of the latest treatments, clinical trials, and research results. He also personally meets with mesothelioma patients and their families and connects them with the best medical specialists and legal representatives available. Connect with Patient Advocate Dave Foster

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