Getting a cancer diagnosis is scary and when it’s your elderly parent that you’re taking care of, it adds an extra burden and concern to the care that you provide. Whether your elderly parent lives at home with you or is still in their own home with you, helping them manage daily tasks, cancer will add extra hardships to getting through the week.
The good news is you don’t need to do it alone. While you should definitely recruit any family or friends that can help, you also have the option of hiring a home health care team that will visit with your parent at home and help her with her cancer care. A home health care provider can help with medication management, wound care, and monitoring how the body recovers by taking your parent’s temperature and blood pressure when needed.
For you, your main task should be to keep your parent comfortable and content during and after her cancer journey. Her oncologist will give you specific tasks that need to be taken care of, but here are some general areas to focus on.
While rest is important, so is exercise. As directed by the doctor and even monitored by your home health care provider, you should encourage your parent to get the recommended exercise. Regular exercise can provide a stronger sense of well-being, as well as take your parent’s mind off of focusing on cancer. It can also help reduce pain and make it easier to sleep well at night, giving your parent’s body the time it needs to recover.
It can be hard to eat when you’re not feeling well, or medications make you nauseous. Your parent may want to avoid eating altogether, but this is where you and your family can gently step in. While sometimes it seems like a win to simply have your parent eat his favorite food (milk shakes or donuts), it’s also important to encourage him to eat foods that help his body recover and gain the strength it needs. He should work on eating fresh fruits and vegetables each day, along with whole grains and low-fat proteins.
Maintain a healthy weight
Cancer treatment can cause many people to lose weight. Help your parent slowly get his weight back up to normal by increasing his calorie intake. His home health care provider can help with weekly weight checks to see if he’s putting those pounds back on. And it’s not all food. The exercise listed above can also help him gain weight by increasing his muscle mass.
Keep stress to a minimum
While you can’t prevent some stressful things (like cancer), you can help your parent keep his stress levels low by eliminating arguments and helping him take care of tasks that stress him out, such as paying bills or making phone calls.
Your parent is lucky to have you on their team. Remember to take care of yourself as you care for him during this journey.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Warren County, VA, please contact the caring staff at LivinRite Home Care. Call Us Today at (703) 634-9991. Serving Northern Virginia, The Valley, and Surrounding Communities.
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