For many seniors, a cancer diagnosis is their worst nightmare. Though cancer can significantly impact your elderly loved one’s overall wellbeing, there are many important decisions your family will need to make to help him or her treat the disease. Setting a clear course of action can help your loved one face his or her fears and focus on moving forward.
1. Choose a Doctor
Take some time to choose a doctor who has experience with your loved one’s particular type of cancer. Check with your loved one’s insurance provider and select a physician your loved one feels comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion, especially if your loved one has cancer that has recurred, is rare, or is difficult to treat.
2. Explore Treatment Options
There are many potential treatment options for cancer. Some types of cancer respond well to radiation and chemotherapy, while other forms are treated with surgery. Your loved one’s doctor may recommend a combination of treatments, and you may also want to look into clinical trials, which may give your loved one access to drugs not yet approved by the FDA but have shown promise in lab tests.
3. Get Emotional Support
According to many cancer survivors, receiving emotional support is the second most important thing after medical care to help manage the disease. Search for support groups in your loved one’s area to get advice for managing cancer, and consider hiring a Philadelphia home caregiver to provide the support your loved one needs.
4. Plan for Everything
Encourage your loved one to create a comprehensive plan regarding doctor’s visits, hospital stays, medications, and anything else that comes to mind. Keep in mind many seniors undergoing cancer treatment need 24-hour care in Philadelphia. One caregiver or family member may not be enough to handle all of your loved one’s needs.
5. Don’t Lose Hope
There are nearly 12 million cancer survivors in the United States, and about 80 percent of them are over age 55. However, many seniors succumb to anxiety and depression after a cancer diagnosis, which can harm the immune system. Though staying positive may seem challenging at times, remaining hopeful and happy has been shown to help seniors heal better than those who are depressed.
After a cancer diagnosis, your loved one will need to make some significant lifestyle changes to increase his or her chances of defeating the disease. If your loved one needs help managing his or her health, reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers use the Balanced Care Method to encourage healthy habits such as eating well, exercising regularly, and receiving plenty of mental and social stimulation, and they are also trained to assist with a wide variety of daily tasks. Call (215) 645-4663 today to learn more about the home care Philadelphia families trust.