The family members caring for an individual who is suffering with mesothelioma cancer sometimes reach the realization that they can no longer care for their loved one’s needs by themselves. This is a time when hospice care should be considered. Both a patient with mesothelioma cancer at the terminal stage and his or her caregivers can benefit greatly from hospice care.
Several Settings Are Possible
The setting for mesothelioma hospice care can be a specialized hospice care center, a skilled nursing facility, a hospital, the patient’s own home, or another private residence. Most often, the hospice care is provided to a mesothelioma cancer patient at his or her home, allowing patients to spend their last days in the comfort of their homes and the presence of their families.
Palliative Care Mesothelioma Treatment
Mesothelioma hospice care is palliative care; that is, it’s medical care designed to help a patient with pain and other symptoms, with no further efforts to try to cure or arrest the disease. Most patients who are receiving palliative care have a life expectancy of about six months. However, hospice care is not meant to hasten a patient’s death or delay it. The main goal is to keep the mesothelioma cancer patient comfortable and as alert as possible.
A Team to Help the Patient and Family
With hospice care, a patient can meet his or her death with dignity and peace. Family members and caregivers have much of the burden of caregiving lifted from them. A team designed to take care of both the patient and family may consist of one or more:
- Nurse’s aides
- Social workers — to help with inter-agency planning and more
- Counselors — for emotional needs, dietary needs
- Clergy — for spiritual guidance
- Volunteers — to provide respite for caregivers and help with errands
A Personalized Care Plan
Hospice care can be 24 hours a day, or in accord with the patient’s and family’s desires. A personalized care plan that takes into account all of the needs of both the patient and family can be devised. The details of the plan can (and probably will) change as the patient’s status evolves. Everyone’s situation is unique, and hospice care is meant to be the most personal type of healthcare, providing comfort and compassionate care.
Insurance Coverage for Mesothelioma Treatment Hospice Care
Private health insurance, many HMOs, and the Veterans’ Administration cover some hospice expenses, and in some states Medicaid also covers certain hospice costs. For mesothelioma cancer patients with a life expectancy of six months or less, the federal health insurance program Medicare covers hospice care, including doctor and nursing services, medicine, home health aides, medical supplies, counseling services, trained volunteers, and bereavement services.
After a Patient’s Passing
Even after a patient in hospice care has passed away, most hospice care programs stay in touch with the patient’s family, offering counseling and grief therapy that can continue for months.
Mesothelioma Treatment Hospice Care Resources
More information about hospice care resources for mesothelioma cancer patients can be obtained through local hospitals or community social workers. A law firm that represents mesothelioma cancer victims and their families may also be able to recommend local hospice care resources and programs.