U.S. veterans and civilians suffering from mesothelioma may have a difficult time caring for themselves. Fortunately, many mesothelioma patients can benefit from home care, which provides services like nursing, cooking, and cleaning. Learn about the different types of mesothelioma home care and how you can access them.
About Home Care for Mesothelioma Patients
Home care for mesothelioma allows cancer patients to get help with basic living and medical needs without leaving the house.
Mesothelioma home care is frequently performed by specialized caregivers.
Mesothelioma home caregiver duties may include:
- Administering medications and chemotherapy drugs
- Assisting with finances
- Cooking meals and feeding
- Cleaning the house
- Offering emotional support
Having mesothelioma home care can also take some of the burdens off a primary caregiver, who is often the patient’s spouse or relative.
U.S. veterans with mesothelioma may qualify for home care services offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA Aid and Attendance (A&A) and housebound benefits allow these veterans to access mesothelioma home care.
Learn about mesothelioma home care and other VA benefits with our team’s help now.
Who Can Benefit From Mesothelioma Home Care?
Mesothelioma home services can be very helpful to patients and their loved ones, as professionals will take over housekeeping and caregiving duties.
In-home mesothelioma caregivers can help:
- Avoid complications: Mesothelioma patients may need weeks or months to recover from major treatments like lung removal surgery or chemotherapy. In-home therapists and nurses can help patients regain their strength and avoid complications during recovery.
- Ease loneliness: Having a mesothelioma diagnosis can be lonely and stressful for patients whose families live far away. In-home caregivers can offer emotional support and ease social isolation.
- Give loved ones more time to rest: In-home service providers can take care of mesothelioma patients, giving their family caregivers and loved ones more time to recharge. Caregiving can be draining, so the chance to step away from the caregiver role — even for a little while — can be quite helpful.
- Manage cancer treatments and appointments: Nurses can help patients schedule appointments and follow mesothelioma treatment regimens.
Home care can be especially helpful for people with stage 4 mesothelioma. This is the most advanced stage of the cancer, so patients may not be able to care for themselves at all.
In-home hospice or palliative care can help these end-stage patients remain comfortable.
Types of Mesothelioma Home Care
There are many types of mesothelioma care services offered by home health aides, registered nurses, the VA, and more. Learn about common types of mesothelioma home care services below.
Aid and Attendance (A&A)
Aid and Attendance is available to U.S. veterans with mesothelioma who qualify for a VA pension. This VA benefit provides extra financial aid if a veteran is severely disabled and requires the help of other people.
Since the VA usually considers mesothelioma to be a 100% disability, low-income veterans who can receive a pension may qualify for A&A.
Homemakers and Home Health Aides
Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible for personal aide services from the VA. A homemaker or home health aide will come to the veteran’s house to provide care.
Home health aides are usually not registered nurses, but they still can assist mesothelioma patients in many ways. However, the aide will work with a registered nurse to make sure the veteran’s medical needs are met.
Home health aides can help patients:
- Get dressed
- Move around the house
- Shop for groceries
They can also provide simple medical services (like managing medications) with training and supervision from nurses.
The VA notes that veterans who qualify for community care services may be eligible to get help from home health aides. These aides are helpful to veterans who don’t have caregivers or whose caregivers (like a spouse) are overwhelmed.
Hospice Care Aides
In-home hospice care teams consist of a skilled team of volunteers and experts who provide mesothelioma palliative care services — a type of care meant to ease suffering.
The team will do everything in its power to ease the pain of the mesothelioma patient and their family members. A primary caregiver (typically a family member or friend) will care for the patient at home with the support of the mesothelioma hospice team.
In-home hospice care services can include:
- 24-hour symptom monitoring
- Emotional support
- Medication administration
If needed, hospice workers can also help the patient and their family connect with spiritual care and mental health services such as grief counseling.
U.S. veterans with mesothelioma can also receive hospice care at a facility through the VA. When veterans have VA health care, there are no copays for this type of hospice care.
Learn how to access top VA benefits in our Free Veterans Packet.
This is another VA benefit that might be available to low-income veterans as part of a pension plan. Like A&A, it’s a higher amount of VA pension paid out monthly to veterans who can’t leave their homes due to a disability like mesothelioma.
Veterans cannot get A&A or housebound benefits at the same time, though — they have to choose one or the other.
Housekeepers can help with daily tasks such as cleaning and organizing the house, making meals, dressing, and bathing.
These workers can be especially helpful if a mesothelioma patient’s primary caregiver does not have time or energy to keep up with daily tasks.
A registered nurse is licensed to provide many mesothelioma home care services.
Registered home health nurses can help patients by:
- Administering chemotherapy drugs through an IV
- Alerting their primary care provider in case of emergency
- Helping the patient manage medication side effects
- Facilitating a prescribed mesothelioma treatment plan
- Providing emotional support
Pharmaceutical and Infusion Therapy Aides
Pharmaceutical and infusion therapy aides can deliver equipment and medications to patients. They can also teach mesothelioma cancer patients and their families to administer treatments at home.
These types of home care aides are helpful to mesothelioma patients who are receiving medication through an injection or who need an IV for fluids.
At-home visits from physical therapists can help mesothelioma patients restore their physical stamina after surgery, chemotherapy, and other strenuous treatments.
For instance, a physical therapist can help a pleural mesothelioma patient who has undergone lung-removal surgery strengthen their remaining lung through exercises.
Skilled Home Health Care
This is another mesothelioma home care service offered by the VA. It’s available to veterans who are returning home following a stay in a hospital or long-term care facility.
Care services offered include:
- IV services
- Nursing services
- Rehabilitation services like physical therapy
- Wound care
A veteran’s doctor will determine if skilled home care is needed or not. It’s typically not a long-term care program, but during the short term, it can be very helpful.
Specialized Social Workers
Specialized social workers can provide mesothelioma cancer patients with information on care options and insurance coverage.
They can also provide emotional support for the patient by teaching them how to talk to their family and children about cancer and referring them to mental health specialists and support groups.
Social workers can be part of a mesothelioma veteran’s skilled home care team.
How Do You Care for Someone With Mesothelioma?
If you live with a family member or loved one who has mesothelioma, chances are you will be providing care at least some of the time. Providing mesothelioma home care to someone with cancer can be very stressful, no matter who you are.
That said, you can care for someone with mesothelioma by keeping the following tips in mind.
- Access mesothelioma home care services: These services are designed to not only help patients but take some of the load off of caregivers.
- Ask for help: Friends and family may be able to provide support when you need a break.
- Eat properly: It is easy to forget to care for yourself when caring for a mesothelioma patient. Remember to make healthy, nutritious meals for your loved one and yourself.
- Find support groups: Mesothelioma support groups let you connect with others who understand what you are going through. Talking to people with similar experiences will give you more confidence and courage to face the future.
- Find ways to minimize stress: Taking care of a mesothelioma patient can be tiring and stressful. Outside of joining a support group, you can reduce stress by meditating, taking daily walks, reading, praying, or exercising.
File for mesothelioma VA benefits now and pursue the best care services following a cancer diagnosis.
Reach Out to Find Caregivers for Mesothelioma Patients
Finding in-home caregivers for mesothelioma patients can be challenging, especially if you’ve never hired a home caregiver.
Fortunately, by exploring mesothelioma home care resources available to veterans through the VA, as well as private services, it’s possible to get the best care possible.
The Mesothelioma Veterans Center is committed to helping veterans access medical care, VA benefits, financial aid, and more following a cancer diagnosis.
Get a Free Veterans Packet that details all the benefits available to veterans with mesothelioma.
FAQs About Mesothelioma Home Care
Are home support services for mesothelioma covered by insurance?
Possibly, depending on the mesothelioma patient’s insurance coverage. It’s likely that many VA-related mesothelioma home health care services will be at least partially covered.
Talk to your health insurance provider and prospective in-home care companies to learn about your options.
How do you help someone with mesothelioma?
You can help someone with mesothelioma by exploring resources like medical treatment, financial aid, and VA benefits like home care.
Notably, VA home care services will allow the patient to get help from professional nurses, caregivers, therapists, and more.
Further, if you’re a spouse or close loved one, you’ll likely be giving care to veterans with mesothelioma who are living at home.
In these cases, see if you can get advice from the veteran’s doctors or support groups on how to best help them.
What makes mesothelioma worse?
Mesothelioma typically worsens on its own, especially when a patient doesn’t get medical treatment or care.
In-home mesothelioma health care services are often used when there’s no way to keep the cancer from getting worse.
However, these services can ease the symptoms of mesothelioma, help patients feel better, and allow them to enjoy the best quality of life possible.