As your senior parent goes through chemotherapy, they may find themselves wondering if the potential cure for cancer is worth the side effects it brings. As the family caregiver, you can help them make some changes in their life that will ease these effects and make their life a little more sweeter while they undergo this sometimes difficult treatment process.
The Effects and Solutions
Elderly patients are at a higher risk of chemotherapy-related side effects and, while there is no one solution, there are activities and protocol that you can incorporate into your loved one’s life that helps diminish the negative effects.
Nerve damage can lead to pain, numbness and tingling. At this time, the last thing that they want to do is the first thing they should keep on doing: exercise. Exercise can alleviate the symptoms by providing an increase in blood flow. Help them find alternatives that may be easier and less painful for them to participate in such as tai chi, yoga or water aerobics. Many of these are offered specifically for seniors at the local senior community center or YMCA. In addition, provide them with clothes that are easy to get on and off such as slip on pants. Make sure their home is a safe environment free of slipping and tripping hazards and well lit.
Nausea is a common side effect of chemotherapy. There are several suggestions that have worked for others undergoing this treatment. These include eating a light meal several hours before therapy and providing light snacks after treatment. Trial and error will help you determine what types of food work best for your parent. It may include cheese and crackers with a flat ginger ale to drink. Another example is dried or fresh fruit and nuts with some ginger tea. Sucking on ginger or other hard candies can also help. A wrist band that contains a hard button which puts pressure on the acupressure spot that relieves nausea is sold for sea sickness and has proved effective in helping relieve the nausea following chemotherapy in some cases. Fresh fruit smoothies and vegetable soups are good alternatives to those who find it difficult to digest solid food.
Senior Care Provider
It may be difficult for your loved one to perform the everyday tasks of living as they complete their treatments and for some time after. A senior care provider can assist with these daily activities as well as run errands such as grocery shopping, provide transportation to appointments and prepare healthy meals. Providing companionship and social support is often the best solution for what ails your aging parent.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering senior care in Mt. Laurel, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
Kelly C. McCabe is a founding partner and co-owner of TLC HomeCare Services.She and her business partner,Patti Maltese founded TLC HomeCare Services in March of 2009.In addition to management, marketing and sales, staffing and recruiting, Kelly holds her New Jersey producer’s license in Health and Life insurance and is also a New Jersey Certified Home Health Aide.Kelly is the proud mother of two daughters and is a resident of Moorestown, NJ.