Family Reach Resource Navigation: Free Support for Cancer Patients and Caregivers
When Sarah* reached out to Family Reach earlier this year, she was deeply concerned about her cancer diagnosis, her family, and their financial health.
As a single mom of three, the expenses were adding up. She was particularly worried about the costs for travel, medications, and childcare. Though she receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and lives in subsidized housing, she was struggling to pay the rent and using over-the-counter pain relievers to manage her symptoms on a budget.
As a Resource Navigator at Family Reach, I was able to connect her with resources to help with transportation costs as well as additional government support for more income.
A few months later, she reached out again, and I helped her work with her social worker to submit an application to our Financial Treatment Program. This time, we were able to help cover childcare costs for Sarah and connect her with resources to help pay her utility bills.
The biggest goal of my job is to let Sarah and others in her shoes know they’re not alone and there’s help out there.
My fellow Resource Navigators and I are here to make it a little easier for you to find the resources that are best for your needs and situation. Before we meet, here’s a quick overview of how Family Reach’s Resource Navigation can help you when you or a loved one is going through cancer.
What is Resource Navigation?
Resource Navigation is a free service that provides personalized resource recommendations to help families facing cancer with unemployment, insurance, food, and other critical needs.
We do this by looking over applications to our Financial Treatment Program, figuring out what each family needs, and giving them a list of resources that can help them. These recommendations are in addition to the other services that we provide, including free financial coaching and financial assistance for everyday living costs.
Here’s how Devin Traxler, MSW, LSW, and one of our Lead Navigators on the team described our support: “If you Google ‘resources for cancer patients’ there are hundreds of links and it’s too much to go through when you are also balancing cancer treatment. Our trained Resource Navigators take some of that burden off of your plate and find a personalized list of resources for you.”
Resource Navigators can connect you with various types of support from trusted organizations, such as:
- Unemployment resources
- Government assistance programs
- Utility bill support
- Local food banks
- Prescription discounts
6 Free Financial Resources for Cancer Patients and Caregivers
Sarah, for example, wondered if a family member could get paid for caregiving. I sent her a link to a program that can be a game-changer for families going through cancer. If a family or patient has Medicaid, a family member can complete minimal training and certification to then get paid to care for their loved one. This can be a huge relief since caregivers often have to stop working and lose income while a loved one goes through treatment.
Working with a Family Reach Resource Navigator
Your application to the Financial Treatment Program gives us a lot of information, though chatting with you directly makes it possible for us to provide even more personalized assistance and support. For example, we can connect you with support that’s specific to your age, location, diagnosis, or biggest financial worry.
Here’s what you can expect from talking with your Family Reach Resource Navigator:
- Step 1: Your Resource Navigator will contact you or your healthcare provider via email or phone shortly after you apply to the Financial Treatment Program.
- Step 2: After you connect with your Resource Navigator, they will follow up with recommended resources. We will do our best to get back to you within three business days.
- Step 3: You can reach out to your Resource Navigator if you have any issues or questions.
We’re here to listen without judgment and help however we can. When you’re ready, ask your social worker about Family Reach’s Financial Treatment Program or find out more here.
*Name changed to protect the patient’s privacy
As a Resource Navigator and Family Reach employee of over five years, Adam is passionate about helping families navigate the healthcare landscape. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, writing, and listening to way too much music.
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