Cancer can be one of the most unexpected experiences of your parent’s life, and can seem to come out of nowhere. As sudden and unpredictable as this disease is, however, you can still take steps to prepare your aging parent, and yourself, for the challenges that you might face during this time. This preparation can ease stress, support better health and well-being, and encourage both of you to ensure that your parent is moving through this disease in the way that is truly right for them.
One issue that you should prepare yourself for is cancer-related distress. This is the negative feelings and emotions that can occur as a result of diagnosis and treatment of cancer. While some such feelings are normal, if they are to become serious or overwhelming, they can lead to diminished health, well-being, and quality of life.
Some of the points in your parent’s cancer journey when their risk for distress is at its highest and the severity of the symptoms can be the worst for both of you include:
• Suffering new or worsened symptoms
• While waiting for results from tests or for a firm diagnosis
• When trying to determine what type of treatment would be right for them
• When waiting for such a treatment approach to begin
• If they decide to change treatments
• When leaving hospital care and beginning care at home
• If they decide that the time has come to stop treatment
• When treatment has come to an end
• During follow-up appointments, particularly if your parent suspects that their cancer may have returned
• When trying to return to their normal life
• When entering hospice care
• When accepting that their treatment has not been successful and they are reaching the end of their life
If you have found that your aging parent’s challenges and needs are more than you can handle as their family caregiver, or your own personal limitations and schedule have become such that you are not able to fulfill their needs in the way that you think they deserve, now may be the ideal time to consider home care for them. As a family caregiver, it is your priority to make sure that your senior has the care, support, and assistance that they need to live their highest quality of life possible. Sometimes this means recognizing care gaps that might exist in your routine and finding ways to ensure that they are filled. A care provider can address these gaps, filling them in the way that is right for your parent, and for you, with highly personalized services tailored toward a lifestyle that is safe and healthy, as well as independent and fulfilling.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Addison, TX, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands of Preston Hollow today at (214) 420-1212.