Massachusetts has many resources available for patients and families – from state funding for medical treatments and respite care, to support groups for patients and family members. Boston Cancer Support has compiled a large portal of invaluable vetted resources to help every step of the way.
When a family member gets sick everyone is affected. First there is shock and disbelief. Then a flood of emotions can emerge, bringing on anxiety, grief, and sometimes guilt. If the family member is an adult, there can also be a shift in roles and responsibilities. None of these changes are easy, but knowing that there is help, and that others have successfully experienced similar challenges can be comforting. Look below for financial aid, support groups, respite care, and caregiving tips, and practical advice from caregivers.
PATIENT CARE PLANNING
Honoring Choices Massachusetts is a consumer focused, nonprofit that informs and empowers adults to make a personal health care plan that honors their values and choices all through their lives. Every adult, or their health care agent and guardian, has the right to be fully informed about their health and make choices for care that reflect each individual’s goals, values, and priorities. Honoring Choices provides no-cost Massachusetts-based health care planning information, tools and discussion guides to help consumers and care providers have effective planning discussions at every phase of health.
Magnolia Meals at Home is a meal delivery program that provides nourishing meals – at no cost- to households affected by breast cancer, so loved ones can spend more quality time together. The program is currently available in areas of New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Greater Boston. Eligible participants will receive up to two months of home meal deliveries, each of which will include ten meals that are designed to help meet the nutritional needs of people living with breast cancer, and up to ten additional meals for their family members, if requested by the participant.
PAN is an independent non-profit organization that provides assistance to under-insured patients for their out-of-pocket expenses for life-saving medications. PAN supports patients through nearly 60 oncology, chronic, and rare disease funds that cover conditions such as multiple myeloma, metastatic breast cancer, and lung cancer (non-small cell). Patients and their advocates can apply for assistance by calling 866.316.7263 or start the application process online at PANFoundation.org.
Got cancer? Broke? Really! That’s a shocker. [sarcasm]. We’ve scoured the web to put together this list of resources whose collective missions are to reduce the financial burden that a diagnosis of cancer can bring. Stupid Cancer is the largest charity that comprehensively addresses young adult cancer through advocacy, research, support, outreach, awareness, mobile health and social media.
Introducing Standbuy, a tool founded by a girl who was preparing for college while caring for her mom. Standby is a unique cancer fundraising tool, helping you get connected to immediate support. A place to unite, pitch in and stay updated.Standbuy is cancer fundraising. Because cancer should not metastasize to your wallet, and cancer websites should not be ugly.
Respite services, planned or emergency, provide caregivers a needed break from their ongoing responsibilities, enabling them to keep their family unit intact and healthy. To be most effective, you should consider respite services much earlier than you think you will need them. Respite will be most helpful if you use it before you become exhausted, isolated, and overwhelmed by your responsibilities.
A range of possible state and federal funding sources may be available to help you pay for respite. This chart was developed by the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center, and includes possible public funding sources to help family caregivers pay for respite, or in some cases, to support or develop respite programs and services. Massachusetts funds respite services with both state or federal funds, either alone or in partnership with private organizations. Such programs are generally designed to serve one or more specific populations. The information obtained for this compilation was gathered from the internet, from phone interviews or email communication, and has been verified to the extent possible. If you find the information to be incorrect or incomplete, please alert us.
Regardless if you are just starting out in a caregiving role, or continuing care for someone whose needs are increasing—you first need to care for yourself. Find tips for preserving your physical and emotional health, community supports that make it possible for you to take a break from your daily responsibilities, and links to resources for fitness advice, health tools and newsletters. The Massachusetts PCA referral directory, sponsored by the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Quality Home Care Workforce Council, offers a comprehensive, up-to-date list of people in Massachusetts who are ready to provide personal care, FREE OF CHARGE, so PCA users can continue to live independently.
Cancer treatments, work schedules, and life responsibilities can take a toll on families. The cost of transportation to and from treatments can add additional pressures. Our transportation page can help.
Going through cancer treatments can be overwhelming. Trying to figure out how you’re going to get to and from the hospital should not have to be an additional stressor, but for many, it is. Thanks to a partnership between Boston Cancer Support and Lyft, there is help. Lyft is dedicated to bringing reliable transportation to Boston and surrounding neighborhoods, offering 5 rides for up to $10.00 each for new users.
Facing Cancer Together serves people with cancer and their families in the Greater Boston community, helping them live the best quality of life while navigating through the cancer experience. FCT serves those battling all types of cancer at all stages of the disease, providing support, wellness and educational services, regardless of their capacity to pay. Through professionally facilitated programs, participants become part of a community that promotes hope, empowerment, and connection to both the person with cancer and their loved ones.
Cancer Hope Network is a national non-profit organization that provides free and confidential one-on-one emotional support to cancer patients, their caregivers, and their family members. Cancer Hope Network matches cancer patients or family members with trained volunteer cancer survivors who themselves, have undergone and recovered from a similar cancer experience.
Friends’ Health Connection links persons with illness or disability and their family caregivers with others experiencing the same challenges. The purpose of this community is for individuals with health challenges, and caregivers, to find and network with one another, spreading hope worldwide. If you or someone you love is facing an illness, please know you are not alone. We invite you to become part of our global community of friendship and support.
The National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focusing on issues of family caregiving. Alliance members include grassroots organizations, professional associations, service organizations, disease-specific organizations, a government agency, and corporations.
Well Spouse Association provides peer support and education about the special challenges and unique issues facing “well” spouses every day. WSA support includes face-to-face support groups, respite events, and conferences; an online forum; peer mentors, and so much more. Greater Boston Support Group
Download the Caregiver’s “Taking Care of Yourself “booklet
AARP offers an online Caregiving Resource Center, with information on where and how to find support, locate resources, answer financial questions, and connect with experts in a wide range of specialties, including health care, long-term care, nutrition, geriatrics, psychology, legal and financial matters and more. View the complete list of panel members and read their bios.
Read this report by The National Alliance for Caregiving entitled:
“Catalyzing Technology to Support Family Caregiving.”
The state of Massachusetts offers numerous caregiver support opportunities.
Caregiving Resources, including :
Caregiver Stress Self-Assessment
Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation
State of Massachusetts Web Resources
Hospice care offers comfort, compassion, and dignity to those with a life-limiting illness. Hospice is a philosophy of coordinated care for patients and their loved ones. Hospice is not a place, but a concept of care that allows a patient to die with dignity and respect. It focuses on the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and family. No other medical care provides this type of patient care. Here is a comprehensive list in the state of Massachusetts
Hospice & Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts comprises hospice, palliative, associate and individual members. HPCFM serves not only members, but also those seeking or using end-of-life services and others interested in this area.
End With Care is an educational resource delivering valuable information and access to care and service, assisting individuals, their loved ones and caregivers who are confronted with end-of-life challenges. Our goal is to bridge those in need to those who can provide care and support.