Hearing that your aging parent has cancer can be one of the most life-changing moments in your life. It can be extremely frightening, upsetting, and intimidating for you as you realize that what you might have thought about the type of care that you would give your senior as they aged likely is not what you will actually do for them, and that they might not have the same health or even life expectancy that you thought they would. It is important to recognize, however, that this experience is also extremely difficult for your aging parent and that it is your responsibility as both their family caregiver and their adult child to help them work through this experience so that they can get through it in the best way possible for them.
Use these tips to help you talk to your elderly parent about their cancer diagnosis:
• Give them some time. If your aging parent does not want to talk about the situation immediately, do not try to pressure them. Give them some time to work through their initial emotions on their own before they talk about them.
• Share your emotions. Your parent might be struggling with their emotions regarding their diagnosis and not know what they should be feeling, or if they should express those emotions. Sharing your emotions with them can help them to feel more connected to their emotion and more comfortable sharing it and working through it with you.
• Listen. It is very important to realize that this is your parent’s journey and that what they are thinking and feeling is what matters in this situation. Focus on listening to them rather than talking. Give your input and support when it is appropriate, but let them express themselves openly, honestly, and thoroughly.
If your elderly loved one has recently been diagnosed with cancer, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting senior care for them. A senior home care services provider can be with your elderly parent on a customized schedule that ensures that they always have access to the support, care, encouragement, and assistance that they need when they need it, while also encouraging them to maintain as much independence, autonomy, activity, engagement, and fulfillment as possible as they age in place. This includes devising a highly personalized set of services tailored to not just their specific challenges, limitations, and health condition, but also the wishes that they have regarding their care and lifestyle during this journey. As their family caregiver this can give you a tremendous sense of confidence and peace of mind knowing that they are getting everything that they need and that their wishes are being respected both when you are with them and when you are not. This care provider can be a particularly valuable source of companionship, emotional support, and encouragement as your parent is going through their cancer journey. From diagnosis through their treatment, this care provider can help your parent deal with their emotions and pursue a lifestyle that is as fulfilling and engaged as possible during their last years.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in South Riding, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.