Is there and in-home care service that would be able to help care for my loved one?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 29, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

A family member has a form of Non-Hodgins. He needs intense physical therapy. He has had 1 chemo treatment, fought e-coli plus other things. He is on 3 antibotics by IV. Can't walk or sit up. Is there a agency that would come to home to give intense phyical therapy plus administer antibotics and monitor his lungs which fill with fluid (he has to cough up whatever is in his lungs), not to mention his potasium levels bounce up and down. It's breaking the family apart. He wants to come home and I can see why, but he has atleast 4 more chemo treatments. Next one in a month. Also, what type of diet should he be on. He was on an ventilator for 15 days. Today is #30 for him in the hospital. He can't even walk, they just removed his rectum tube and cather yesterday. Please help us!

Expert Answers

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

I am sorry to hear of your troubles. There are depending on where you live, ih-home services that can care for sick people within their own homes. has a service to help you find one in your area. However, there are some issues you need to address first. Out of the following information you need to make a plan. Is your relative old or young? What will the insurance pay? Is there long term care insurance? What is the prognosis? Does your loved one have long to live? What kind of famlly support is there? If your family member wants to come home, does it mean that he feels that further treatment could be given at home or that he wants to abandon more treatment? It is not easy to sit with a loved oone and say, "I'm afraid if you come home, you will die. Or to say with great understanding, "I'm afraid that we are going to lose you. Do you want to come home with hospice?" (Hospice acceptance is based on 6 months to live and turning the attention to comfort and quality of remaining life rather than aggressive treatment) They assess in communication with the doctor. Perhaps, your relative could stay in a nursing home for two months. During that time you could plan for his coming home. (If that is possible.) He would have something to work for; and the family also would have time to work on it.
Start with the discharge planner/social worker at the hospital. Speak to the oncologist or family doctor. Call an in-home agency that the hospital recommends.
Find out who from the family is able or willing to help with care. Many families are not able to deal with extreme medical care at home. Without good 24 hour care, it might not be possible to keep your lovedone comfortable or safe. Don't apologize. Tell the rest of the family. "Let's stop and get more information, make a plan and above all, let's don't stop caring for each other trying to take care." Also, there is a book, THE ANATOMY OF HOPE:Howe people prevail in the face of illness by Jerome Groopman, M.D. which might help you realize that you are not alone..