Experts note that age is the single greatest risk factor for cancer and that more than half of new cases of cancer are found in older adults. If you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult and have learned that they have cancer, you will need to make adjustments to your care efforts to ensure that you are filling all of their needs and helping them to live the highest quality of life possible as they travel through this journey. One of the most important goals that you will have during this time is keeping your parent safe. The effects of the cancer itself, as well as the treatments that your parent might undergo, can impact their functioning, putting them at risk.
Taking steps to reduce these risks can protect your parent from potentially serious injuries and help them to stay safer, healthier, and more comfortable.
Use these tips to help keep your senior safe as they fight cancer:
• Understand how the disease affects their body and how it might impact their function, including reducing vision or hearing, causing dizziness or weakness, or diminishing balance and control.
• Talk to their doctor about how their treatments and medications might impact their balance, control, strength, and other function so that you can be prepared for additional challenges that your senior might face.
• Address reduced vision by adding extra lighting throughout their home.
• Ensure that your parent always wears well-fitting footwear with proper grips on the bottom to help keep them steadier on their feet.
• Clear clutter throughout the home that might cause tripping hazards.
• Place seating throughout the home, even in areas that might not traditionally have any seating such as the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, and porch, so that your parent can sit and rest if they become tired or dizzy.
• Arrange for your parent’s care network to visit with them regularly even if they do not need extensive care. This will ensure that you can stay updated on their condition, detect any challenges that they have, and ensure that they have the companionship and supervision necessary to help them avoid serious accidents and mishaps.
What can you do?
Whether your aging parent is living with cancer or struggling with some other health problem or needs, if you do not feel that your caregiver efforts are giving them all that they need, now may be the ideal time for you to consider home care for them.
A care provider can fill these care gaps in the way that is right for them so that your parent is able to manage their personal needs, challenges, and limitations while pursuing a lifestyle that is active, engaged, fulfilling, and independent throughout their later years. When it comes to helping a senior who is going through a journey with cancer, this care provider can be invaluable. Their companionship and emotional support can help your parent deal with the mental and emotional issues surrounding cancer and help them to maintain a lifestyle that is meaningful and enjoyable during this chapter. They can also provide personalized reminders to ensure that your parent remains compliant with their medications, treatments, and other guidelines from their doctor so that they can maintain the best health possible.
If you are considering home care in Pittsburgh, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.
Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551