Learning that your loved one has cancer is one of the most devastating things in life. But, this devastating news also comes with some hard and important decisions you must take post-diagnosis in terms of the care and treatment. Of those decisions, deciding where to receive treatment to start the recovery process is a crucial one.
While some choose the at-home treatment option, others prefer faith based assisted living for cancer patients. This post talks about when it makes the most sense to go with the latter option and how to find the best assisted facility for your loved one.
Understanding the Cancer Diagnosis
Be sure to speak with the healthcare team involved in the treatment. That means communicating with oncologists, radiologists, palliative care teams, pathologists, etc.
After that, you might want to answer these questions to know where it makes sense for the patient to live (permanently or temporarily):
- What’s the current cancer stage and what do the treatment options look like?
- Is it treatable?
- Do you need more tests to decide the treatment?
- How long the treatment might last?
- Are there any side-effects of the treatment?
- Where will the person receive treatment?
- Would you need tests during the treatment as well? If yes, how often?
- Would the patient need a special diet during the treatment?
The Age Factor
In the elderly, cancer treatment comes with greater challenges. That means, there’s a great chance of compromised strength and bone health, delayed healing, cognitive stress, depression, and the possibility of dementia. All of these factors can complicate the course of treatment.
Do think about the age factor and the possibility of needing pain management strategies later on. Discuss with healthcare professionals to understand how the age connects with possible complications and accordingly decide the course of treatment. This might offer you some guidance as to whether or not you should go with assisted living for cancer patients.
When Assisted Living Makes Sense and When It Can Help
Assisted living offers a highly safe environment. The assurance that your loved one will receive proper care, coupled with a tidy, hygienic, living space, emotional support, and healthy meals can offer additional peace of mind.
There are instances where the cancer is treatable, but the recovery process is often longer. This makes it difficult for families to manage their daily routine and perform everyday tasks. In that case, assisted living facilities can be the best thing. If the patient has some other underlying condition, living at home can be a more significant challenge. It’s best to go with an assisted facility in such conditions.
How To Choose the Right Living Community
After you have shortlisted a couple of facilities, it’s good to start by compiling a list of standard questions to ask. You may want to add some of your own that fit your personal preferences and care-related needs of the patient. For example, whether or not the facility allows pets – if it’s LGBTQ-freindly place – and if couples can live there.
Online 3rd party reviews are some of the best sources to gain insight into the facility. Feedback from people who received the services first-hand can also offer vital information.
Additionally, you can ask for recommendations from social workers, doctors, and hospital’s discharge planners.
Questions To Ask About Cancer Care
Be sure to ask these cancer-care questions to the assisted living facility to shortlist the best one:
- Perhaps your loved one does not need any specialized services now, but they may need it sometime in the future. If that’s the case, it’s good to pick a facility that can be flexible and respond to the ever-changing needs of the cancer patient and their care. This can avoid the need to switch facilities and avoid expenses that come with moving.
- Will there always be a nurse present at the facility?
- What are the physician’s visiting hours for the residents? How do they communicate with primary care physicians and what duties they perform?
- Do they allow hospice care?
- Will the family have to bear additional transportation cost? This can be a huge governing factor in the case of loved ones who need frequent visits to the hospital for treatment. Always pick a facility that offers free transportation if no family member is present during the day to take them.
- What’s the protocol for responding to emergency medical incidents? See if the facility can quickly transfer your loved one to the hospital in case of a sudden emergency.
Remember, the best facility is the one that can offer optimal living conditions for your loved ones. It should offer the best conditions for the person to thrive during some of the most challenging times of life.
Long-Term Advantages of Assisted Living For The Elderly
Assisted living facilities inherently encourage healthy lifestyle choices and routines, which eventually translates to a better quality of life. Ultimately, these habits and lifestyle can reflect on how quickly the person responds to the treatment and an overall sense of independence when it’s time for them to live on their own after the treatment is over.
The elderly need certain precautions after the treatment because of the possibilities of complications and being more prone to falls. Access to regular medical care by therapists means that the seniors will be able to manage themselves better and stay more active.
Assisted living facilities offer an overall healthy lifestyle and give patients a sense of socialization which is super essential because illnesses like cancer can be isolating. A sense of community can and may help quicken the recovery process and encourage a healthy lifestyle even after chemo and other treatments are over.