I've become a fulltime caregiver for a dear friend while she fights pancreatic cancer. She's 58, I'm 60.

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Do you have DPOA & MPOA for her? If not, who does? To really be able to move beyond the current situation someone needs to be able to be her POA. Is she accepting of the reality of her disease? Have you been with her to see her oncologists? Where is she - stage wise - and what path does her doctors tend to do at end stage? If they are thinking that family is going to be around to do all till that last hospitalization (maybe a year to this point) , then you have to make a hard choice - commit to staying till the end or helping her find someplace else to live so you can return to your old life.

At 58, she can get Medicaid. If she doesn't have health insurance that is sufficiently covering the costs, she should look into applying for Medicaid. Medicaid can also pay for NH costs for her, once she gets to the point of needing 24/7 availability of skilled nursing care.

Has anyone spoke with her about hospice? Most hospice is done with Medicare paying for it, but some states Medicaid programs will do so for younger patients
(too young for Medicare). A NH with hospice could be something to consider. If your area has free standing hospice that could be the best situation. Some of the larger hospice groups - VITAS & Compassus have free standing hospice in addition to having caregivers go to homes & NH. In my mom's city VITAS has one the was the old Women's & CHildren's hospital - so this one has like 5 floors - & they also have a smaller unit adjacent to a "tiered" facility (ones that go from IL to AL to NH)

If you are hoping that there will be a program out there to pay you for caregiving, that just likely isn't going to work out. There are caregiver programs in some states, but usually require some sort of training (so you get "aide" training or take red cross 1st aid classes)/ Stuff really more designed for long term care situations which is not what you all are facing. Did her employers offer any type of support services? Does her church do any outreach?

It's really a most difficult cancer as not a lot that can be done as it's usually detected once it's advanced. There are a # of recent articles on PC & women, as Sally Ride died of it in 2012.
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Go back to work, because you need those social security benefits soon.
Your survival is just as important as hers.
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