At Geisinger, we understand that life is different after a cancer diagnosis. Cancer and its treatment can lead to a wide range of challenges for patients and their families. To help you manage the issues that can come up, whether physical or emotional, Geisinger offers a wide range of support services.
Geisinger provides patients access to the following programs:
Geisinger offers access to support groups for cancer patients, their loved ones and caregivers. Meeting other people with similar experiences can provide immense relief and comfort. Trained professionals lead educational sessions, informal group discussions, special events and social gatherings.
The Geisinger Health Events Calendar also has up-to-date information about support groups for people living with cancer.
There are many online support communities that you can join to ask questions, share successes and feel understood. We recommend the following:
- Cancer Consultants Support Community
- American Cancer Society’s Circle of Sharing TM
- Cancer Support Community
Additional support programs and resources may be available. Talk with a member of your healthcare team about your specific needs, so that they can help you resolve any issues that may be interfering with your cancer treatment.
Dealing with cancer can put a strain on a patient’s mental energy. It can also be difficult for family members and caregivers who may have difficulty understanding what their loved ones are going through. If you are depressed or have difficulty sleeping it is important to communicate this with a member of your healthcare team. A referral for you and/or your family to a professional counselor may be beneficial.
Many patients need to understand their disease in a larger spiritual context to gain hope and courage to recover. Our spiritual care center provides patients with access to chaplains and chaplain assistants; these men and women are available to patients, family members and staff of any faith for spiritual guidance. Specially trained in clinical spiritual care, employees and volunteers of the Spiritual Care Center can counsel you or get you in contact with the spiritual advisor of your choice. Contact 570.271.3700 or visit Geisinger Spiritual Care for more information.
Look Good…Feel Better
Experts agree that a patient’s outlook can play a role in their fight against cancer. So if cancer treatments leave you or someone you know feeling upset about appearance, it is important to get help. Geisinger Cancer Services can provide a referral to community vendors who offer an array of cosmetic services including wigs, scarves, prosthetics and more. And, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, we offer the Look Good, Feel Better program. The program offers a two hour, hands-on group session that includes a make-up application lesson and demonstrations of options for dealing with hair loss. The program also provides self-help kits for men or women, simply call 1.800.395.LOOK to obtain a kit.
Geisinger encourages patients to eat healthy and be healthy. Having a healthy diet during your cancer treatments will help you regain your strength, rebuild tissue and feel better overall. Once you have completed your cancer treatments, it will be important to continue a healthy lifestyle. Our Nutrition Guidelines can provide you with suggestions for eating healthy.
Debilitating pain should not be part of a cancer diagnosis. The Geisinger Interventional Pain Management Clinic is available to accurately diagnose and treat pain in an outpatient setting when conventional treatments are not effective. Services are provided on a referral basis from a primary care provider or other treating physician, and are generally covered by insurance companies. Patients should speak with their doctor about any pain they experience.
Help for older patients
Older patients have unique needs because of their often complex medical histories, numerous prescription drugs, social situations, possible problems with cognitive dysfunction related to age, and general diminution of organ function that occurs naturally in this age group.
Geisinger has developed a simple screening process to evaluate geriatric-related medical needs as well as social issues to determine if the patient qualifies for admittance into the Geriatric Oncology Program.
Help for caregivers, families & friends
Patients fighting cancer may require home-based services including skilled nursing, home care aids, physical therapy or social services, among others. Geisinger HomeCare provides round-the-clock care for patients in several counties. To learn more about the services provided, please call 888.634.6715 (Central PA) or 800.531.3068 (Eastern PA).
Quality of life matters, particularly for patients facing a terminal illness. For those who wish to live out their final days at home, Hospice care is available to provide comfort and pain relief measures, as well as companionship and assistance. Services are available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. For more information, call 1.888.634.6715
Quality of life care
Palliative medicine focuses on helping the patient, family and caregivers confront and manage quality of life issues. We treat the special medical needs of terminally ill patients and help encourage communication between patients and their families and caregivers.
For families and friends who have lost a loved one, Geisinger offers a Bereavement Support Group. The group provides valued support and education about the grieving process.
The House of Care provides low-cost lodging on the campus of Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for adult cancer patients and their families. Guests enjoy private bedrooms and comfortable social areas as well as access to a full kitchen, dining room and laundry. Complementary shuttle service is available to and from the medical center diagnostic and treatment facilities. For more information, call 570.271.8600.
The Ronald McDonald House of Danville is a “home away from home” for families of hospitalized children, or those receiving extensive outpatient care for cancer and other illnesses in area hospitals. Guests will find a warmly decorated home consisting of a common kitchen, dining room, living room, playroom and sunroom. The kitchen and the laundry room are equipped with essentials to meet your needs. In the backyard, a modern playground allows children and parents to enjoy the nice days outside. For more information, call 570.271.6300