What To Expect From Community Agencies

People with a chronic illness now spend less and less time in the hospital. Community agencies are often called upon to provide some health and support services. Among the services these agencies offer are home-health care, family service or counseling, senior citizen services, financial assistance, and vocational rehabilitation. These agencies are discussed in detail throughout this guide. With the exception of home-health services, community agencies are generally not as knowledgeable about cancer treatments as your hospital, but they should have basic information to help you with your needs. Community agencies strive to provide services that will help you maintain your independence and effectively deal with any cancer-related problems.


All agencies have policies about the nature of their services and your eligibility for those services. You should know what you can and cannot expect from a particular agency. You should also be informed of agency fees before you accept their services. Many community agencies receive funding support from the United Way or charitable foundations, which allows them to offer services on a sliding scale, or adjusted to your income. If you are clear about services, policies, and fees from the start, you can then decide whether a particular agency can meet your needs.