When an aging family member has leukemia, they may need a great deal of support during treatment and recovery. Chemotherapy treatment can cause a number of difficult side effects, such as fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and an increased risk of infection. All of this can be a lot for family caregivers to handle, especially if they are working and raising children. An older adult with leukemia may need round the clock care, which may be difficult or even impossible for some families to provide. That’s where elderly care can be a huge asset to both the senior and their family members. Elderly care providers can be there to care for the senior when family caregivers cannot. If you’re wondering what elderly care can do for your aging family member with leukemia, here are just 5 things.
#1 Prevent Dehydration
Dehydration is a real threat for leukemia patients, especially since chemotherapy may cause fluid loss through vomiting and diarrhea. Because the older adult may not feel like eating or drinking, the risk for dehydration is even higher. Elderly care providers can encourage fluid intake by making sure the senior has a bottle or glass of water within reach at all times. They can also offer foods that are high in water content, such as soup, popsicles, and watermelon.
#2 Reduce Chance of Infection
People with leukemia and undergoing chemotherapy can get infections easily. An elderly care provider can help to reduce the risk of infection by keeping the house clean. They can frequently wipe down surfaces that might harbor germs and remind visitors to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before touching the senior.
#3 Medication Reminders
Elderly care providers can remind seniors to take prescription drugs, over the counter medications, and supplements recommended by the doctor.
#4 Provide Comfort
Just having someone nearby who can help if needed can be a source of comfort to an older adult with leukemia. Elderly care providers can just sit and chat, play a hand of cards, or do a puzzle with a leukemia patient. If the person gets uncomfortable from sitting or lying in one place too long, an elderly care provider can fluff pillows or help them to get up and move around a bit, ensuring they do not fall.
#5 Prepare Meals and Snacks
Chemotherapy can make eating a challenge. The older adult might not have an appetite, but it’s important that they get enough nutrients. Elderly care providers can prepare easy to digest meals according to the doctor’s advice. They can also offer snacks throughout the day, helping the senior to eat as much as possible.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Ashburn, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.