Assisted Living for Cancer and Recovery

David Besnette

By David Besnette


In this article:

  • Learn how to find Assisted Living for Cancer Care / recovery
  • Why facilities don’t often advertise this type of service
  • Personal stories and messages about the process & frustrations of finding Assisted Living for Cancer

Interestingly, in the 12+ years I’ve been online in the senior care industry, one of the very top questions I get is some variation of “where can I find assisted living for a loved one who has Cancer or who is recovering from it.”

Cancer.   I would have thought that memory care or Dementia would head the list, but in my experience, Cancer is right there at the top.

Most Assisted Living Facilities Don’t Advertise Cancer Care

The downside is that many, or most Assisted Living Facilities don’t directly advertise in their brochures or on their websites that they care for residents who have Cancer, or who are in the throes of recovery.

Why is this?  I believe that it (Cancer Care) is offered through many Senior Living facilities, but you have to ask for it, or it has to be ‘inherently included’ under the umbrella of another term such as “Continuing Care Retirement Community” or CCRC.    

I’ve found, in the many times I’ve interviewed facility administrators, that they do indeed care for residents who are struggling with Cancer or Recovery, usually through a visiting RN or contracted help who specialize in Cancer Care.   Often these contracted hires are involved with a facility on a ‘need’ basis.

Cancer Care in Assisted Living

Cancer care is expensive, and can be costly in terms of staffing resources, and facility budgets, so like with many other conditions, facilities will almost ‘reluctantly’ accept or care for these types of residents, but won’t overtly put out the ‘welcome mat’ for them. 

Cancer / Assisted Living Placement Help

If you found this page, and are simply needing help finding assisted living care for Cancer or Recovery, please call:

This is a Nationwide Free Placement Service.  My family used a placement service for our mother-in-law who had Cancer, which I discuss below. It was a lifesaver!

Consider this – Here’s a small sampling of actual recent questions and comments I’ve received pertaining to finding assisted living care for someone with Cancer:

  • I am looking for a facility that will accept a 41yr old cancer patient for hospice care. Can you help me? Jen
  • Just wanted to know if assistant living is only for the elderly, I’m 48 years old & I have stage 3 colon cancer & was trying to find other living arrangements. Felicia
  • My sister has just diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer – she lives in new work by herself ( I live out of state) and we need housing for her and one family member during the time of the Chemotherapy treatment – Our family budget to help her is very limited- can you advice how we can find affordable place we can rent temporarily in the new your area and how we can apply for any financial help? Currently she is under the State of New York Medicaid program as a cancer patient for her medical assistance only. My Sister name is Victoria -she is 55 years old. Any help or how to contact any assistance, We will appreciate immensely. Thank you Felipe
  • Hi my mother is 69 yrs old with stomach cancer and dementia living in Florida, wanting to come back to Chicago to live near me. It is very over whelming not being able to care for her adequately, and her care is taking a toll on me. – April
  • Just a Heads Up on the availability of our largest and best private room.  Good for a couple or a private suite for a single resident. Besides the room, there is an on-site live-in Nurse (RN) who is certified in Wound and Cancer Care, Holistic Medication and Nutritional Practices.  Also on-site live-in ordained minister and life transitions counselor.   We enjoy meeting the medical, emotional, physical, spiritual, and family (social) needs of each Resident. – Michelle
  • Do you accept the CBA waiver as a form of payment? Do you have a bed available for a 65 year old prostate cancer patient TONJA
  • We are interested in your ability to provide facilities for our parents who currently live with us. One is relatively healthy and one has stage 4 cancer.  Can you accommodate our parents in your assisted living home? – Dan
  • I am doing a favor for my friend who is in need of a facility for her mother who will be undergoing chemo therapy beginning soon. The patient’s husband is why we are looking for a special facility. He has had a stroke, cannot manage stairs and requires a handicapped equipped shower. Otherwise the couple can manage on their own.  The mother’s chemo therapy is scheduled to last 6 months. They have long term care insurance and medicare. They prefer an apartment that allows independent living, affordable but has no stairs to navigate and the necessary shower arrangements. Kindly, – Mike
  • My father only has social security as an income. He is a military veteran and receives most of his care from the VA. He is only mobile with the use of his scooter chair. He has bladder cancer and was told they cannot operate or do chemo on him. Given his medical and financial situation, is he eligible to join your community? Mark
  • My mother is 66 years old and has healthkeepers plus Medicaid. she is having dementia associated with her progressing liver cancer and we are unable to care for her at home anymore. I am looking for a place where she can get the care she needs – Heidi
  • Hello, I would like to know how these types of facilities would work? As far as medicare or medicaid? I have a sister who is disabled due to cancer, she has been working with a social worker to find placement. Thank you. Also WITHOUT medicaid how much do these types of facilities normally run?  – Pamela
  • I have a father that has brain cancer and we are looking for an assisted living place for him to move to, do u do anything for these type of cases?? also he needs to take a chemo pill 5 days a month do you distribute that?? – Cheryl

 

My Mother-in-law’s Cancer Diagnosis and Care Search


When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Cancer at age 81, she was still living independently at home.    Her  diagnosis made it clear she needed to live in a structured senior care environment.

We wanted her to live in an assisted living facility.  After all, assisted living homes are often much nicer, and closer to a ‘homelike’ environment than Nursing Homes, or Skilled Nursing.  However, as we researched, many assisted living facilities turned us away, as they were not able to handle her needs, one of which was a feeding tube, since she was having trouble swallowing.   

A feeding tube will almost always result in an assisted living facility referring you to a Nursing Home or SNF (Skilled Nursing Facility). 

Additionally, mom lived in a fairly small town, surrounded by rural areas, so there wasn’t much to choose from in the first place.

We were frustrated, spent, and running out of time.  Mom was getting weaker, and needed full-time care. 

How I found Care For Her

I finally found care options for our Mother-in-Law by reaching out to a National Group of Care Advisors, who have the resources, connections, and experience to know who was able to take mom in.  

We were presented with a list of facility options in a nearby city, and also in a different state where we (her kids) live.    

It was a timesaver (and a lifesaver) for sure.   I know many families (like mine) are thrust into needing care for a parent without much warning, and at the same time caring for young kids, having full-time jobs, and all the rest.    It’s maddening, and a feeling of powerlessness not understanding how to get answers or where to look for help.

Assisted Living for Cancer Care and/or Recovery, Please Call

Unfortunately, at this time, there are no great ways to research assisted living or other care options for those with Cancer, other than calling facilities directly, which is time consuming, or using a Placement Service like the one I mentioned above.

My experience using the Placement Service was outstanding.   My advisor was so courteous, empathetic, resourceful, and responsive to our needs.   We got more than we asked for, and never had to pay a dime for the service.

Unfortunately, mom’s illness progressed extremely fast, and she passed away within 1 year of diagnosis.   It was really comforting knowing that during the whole process, we had a place we could go to ask questions and get help and not go it alone.

And lonely it is, researching care for a sick family member.  I’ve been there.

Photo attribution

Additional Information:

Cancer Care and Nursing Homes

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