Transitional Care during COVID-19 for Cancer Patients

Program Overview

Cancer patients undergoing treatment are often incapable of maintaining employment. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact in blocking the ability to earn income. Cancer and its concomitant treatment often leave a patient suffering pain, nausea and vomiting, appetite loss, fatigue, cognitive thinking and memory impairment, the list goes on. (This list is drawn from our own staff’s personal experiences.) Treatment can last from 1 to 3 months or longer.

Results of a study released early this year, found that women diagnosed with colorectal cancer who reported low social support, had a 52% higher overall mortality rate than those who reported high levels of support, and demonstrated a 42% overall higher mortality rate from colorectal cancer specifically. (For more details, click here...)

Another study conducted earlier this year found that cancer survivors who suffered financial hardship during treatment, had ongoing issues for years afterwards. Issues not faced by those were financially stable during their treatment. (For more details, click here...)

No one can argue that any reduction in a patient's fears and anxieties is not a step towards a greater likelihood the patient will survive. Our program alleviates the very real fear of homelessness and hunger. No matter how ill they are, the patient always feels helpless and ashamed for being unable to provide for their family. The TCCP provides a sense or relief, it brings hope, and let the patient know they are not alone.

The objective of the TCCP is to ensure that cancer patients do not become homeless, have their nutritional needs met, and their utilities maintained without threat or fear of shutoff. The TCCP also guarantees transportation to and from treatment.

Qualified patients may receive direct assistance for up to $3500 to cover basic essential living expenses, with additional support available as need requires.

To qualify for assistance, the patient:

  1. Must have an active diagnosis of cancer;
  2. Must be in treatment or beginning treatment; or,
  3. Must have a demonstrated financial need.

Patients will be considered on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis with preference given to patients with families and children.

An assigned staff member will personally assist the patient to navigate the process and then work with the patient throughout treatment, monitoring the patient’s progress to ensure the patients’ needs are met.

References

  1. Kaiser Permanente "Women with colorectal cancer fare better if they have social support" (January 2020) Available here...
  2. Journal of Clinical Oncology "Understanding Financial Hardship Among Cancer Survivors in the United States: Strategies for Prevention and Mitigation" (February 2020) Available here...

South Florida Cancer Foundation, Inc.