Home Care Options

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A brain tumor diagnosis doesn’t just affect the individual; it affects the entire family.

 

Family members want to help as much as possible yet they often have to juggle the responsibilities of work, children or grandchildren. The added challenges of modifying home layouts, arranging transportation, and dealing with health insurance concerns can sometimes leave family members feeling exhausted and depleted.

 

Fortunately, there are many care options that help alleviate stress and provide quality care, including: 

You should become informed about the various options so you can make the best decision for your family. The social worker connected with your health care team is a great source for recommendations on community-based resources and programs.

 

Together – as a family and with your health care team – you can identify care options that work best for your situation.

 

Adult Day Care

Adult day care is a planned program of supportive activities designed to promote well being for those who want to remain a part of the community but can no longer manage independently. Programs also offer a welcome respite for caregivers. They typically operate during daytime hours, Monday through Friday, in a safe and supportive environment.

 

You may want to consider adult day care centers if your family member is experiencing difficulty performing daily living activities, processing thoughts, recognizing familiar surroundings, dealing with memory problems, or if you feel uncomfortable leaving him or her alone for an extended period.

 

Sometimes, family members feel they are somehow “failing” or letting their loved ones down by opting for adult day care. In reality, this choice allows you to fulfill your work responsibilities if you work outside of the home or to take a break from the physical demands and stress of round-the-clock care and attention. In the long run, it may be a good choice for your own mental and physical well-being.

 

In choosing an adult day care center, consider the available physical and occupational therapies, opportunities to socialize, health care monitoring and personal care services from which your family member may benefit.  Keep in mind that some adult day care centers provide transportation to and from the center, services including counseling and support groups for caregivers, as well as services such as blood pressure monitoring.

 

You can ask for a recommendation from your health care provider. The American Brain Tumor Association can also help you locate convenient and local adult day care services. Call the ABTA CareLine at 800-886-ABTA (2282) for more information.

 

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Home Care

When your family member’s needs are constant and you are beginning to feel overwhelmed, it may be time to consider home care services. Think about the level of care needed, as well as the number of hours needed each day, and then contact your insurance company to see if and what home care benefits might be covered in your policy.

 

Choosing a home care provider may seem like a daunting task. You want to feel comfortable with the home care provider you choose. A good way to start is to ask both providers and other people you may know about the provider’s track record.

 

Once you connect with the provider, you will want to ask a series of questions:

  • How long have you been serving the community?
  • Do you provide literature outlining your services and fees?
  • How do you select and train your employees?
  • What type of evaluation is done regarding the type of home care the patient will receive and who completes the evaluations?
  • Do you provide the family with treatment and progress updates?
  • How do you handle problems and emergencies?”
  • What sort of continuing education is provided for caregivers who join your agency as employees?
  • Are background checks completed on caregivers before they are hired?
  • Do any of your caregivers specialize in working with brain tumor patients?

You can ask for a recommendation from your health care provider or call our CareLine at 800-886-ABTA (2282) to get informed guidance on home care services targeted to your family’s specific needs.

 

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Assisted Living Facilities

For brain tumor patients who need help with daily activities of living, assisted living offers a viable option. Your family member can enjoy as much independence as he or she can handle yet, at the same time, receive assistance with basic activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, grooming, dressing and more.

 

Some assisted living facilities are only designed for those over age 65, while others have more age-flexible admissions policies.  Most include nutritious meals, housekeeping services, transportation and many social activities for an all-inclusive monthly fee.

 

All too often, people judge a book by its cover.  While most assisted living facilities look welcoming and homelike, you will want to make a decision based on objective factors and measurements.

 

Your primary goal is to find a facility that will offer a safe and supportive environment for your family member. Visit a few facilities with an appointment and also show up unexpectedly and ask to view the facility and interview the staff. Make a list of questions beforehand and make sure your questions get answered fully and to your satisfaction. Some of them may be:

  • Is your facility able to accommodate your family member’s needs…not just now, but in the future?
  • Where are the closest hospitals and other supportive services?
  • Does your physician make regular rounds at the facility?  What is the emergency procedure if your physician is not on-call?
  • What types of conditions are accepted? Are you able to effectively care for residents who are experiencing memory loss, impaired thinking abilities, or limited mobility?
  • What is the schedule of activities that are open for residents and their families?
  • Is your staff composed of licensed health care and rehabilitation specialists?  Does any staff specialize in working with people who have brain tumors?  What types of continuing education are provided to staff?
  • What type of contract is required?
  • What does the most recent state audit of the facility look like?

You should leave with a feeling that you’re choosing a nurturing environment, committed to safety and focused on preserving dignity. If you have any concerns, even after your family member moves in,  make sure to voice them. You should also set up a staff meeting in advance of the move to discuss how to make this transition easiest for everyone.  You’ll also want to ask how often meetings with family and staff (such as with the social workers or nurses, for instance) are scheduled so that you can be actively engaged with the care providers of your family member.

 

Call the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) CareLine at 800-886-ABTA (2282) for guidance on choosing the right assisted living facility for your needs. Trained health care professionals can answer your questions and provide you with direction on what to look for and where to go.

 

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Nursing Home Facilities

For brain tumor patients who need help with daily activities of living, assisted living offers a viable option. Your family member can enjoy as much independence as he or she can handle yet, at the same time, receive assistance with basic activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, grooming, dressing and more.

 

Some assisted living facilities are only designed for those over age 65, while others have more age-flexible admissions policies.  Most include nutritious meals, housekeeping services, transportation and many social activities for an all-inclusive monthly fee.

 

All too often, people judge a book by its cover.  While most assisted living facilities look welcoming and homelike, you will want to make a decision based on objective factors and measurements.

 

Your primary goal is to find a facility that will offer a safe and supportive environment for your family member. Visit a few facilities with an appointment and also show up unexpectedly and ask to view the facility and interview the staff. Make a list of questions beforehand and make sure your questions get answered fully and to your satisfaction. Some of them may be:

  • Is your facility able to accommodate your family member’s needs…not just now, but in the future?
  • Where are the closest hospitals and other supportive services?
  • Does your physician make regular rounds at the facility?  What is the emergency procedure if your physician is not on-call?
  • What types of conditions are accepted? Are you able to effectively care for residents who are experiencing memory loss, impaired thinking abilities, or limited mobility?
  • What is the schedule of activities that are open for residents and their families?
  • Is your staff composed of licensed health care and rehabilitation specialists?  Does any staff specialize in working with people who have brain tumors?  What types of continuing education are provided to staff?
  • What type of contract is required?
  • What does the most recent state audit of the facility look like?

You should leave with a feeling that you’re choosing a nurturing environment, committed to safety and focused on preserving dignity. If you have any concerns, even after your family member moves in,  make sure to voice them. You should also set up a staff meeting in advance of the move to discuss how to make this transition easiest for everyone.  You’ll also want to ask how often meetings with family and staff (such as with the social workers or nurses, for instance) are scheduled so that you can be actively engaged with the care providers of your family member.

 

Call the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) CareLine at 800-886-ABTA (2282) for guidance on choosing the right assisted living facility for your needs. Trained health care professionals can answer your questions and provide you with direction on what to look for and where to go.

 

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Related Resources

Care Options

Care Options

An overview of care options for patients and families.