If you are like most family caregivers who learn that their aging parent is suffering from cancer, the first thing on your mind is getting your parent through it. If they have selected a treatment plan for overcoming cancer and have survival as the goal, you must prepare yourself for what this new chapter of your lives will look like.
Being a family caregiver for a cancer survivor is not the same as being a family caregiver for a senior who has not gone through cancer, and it is extremely important that you understand each element of these new challenges and issues so that you can give your parent the support and care that they need throughout this experience.
One extremely important aspect of helping your parent after they have gotten through their cancer treatment is a survivorship plan.
This is a plan designed with your parent’s doctor to help structure and guide their years as a cancer survivor, and ensure that they continue to monitor and care for their health as they move forward. Your parent’s survivorship plan, like all other elements of their fight against cancer, will be very personal to them.
Aspects of this plan, however, might include:
• Doctor-recommended schedule for follow-up appointments, care, and tests
• List of side-effects that might linger after your parent’s treatment that you should look out for and how you should handle these effects, including when it might be time for you to reach out to their doctor again
• List of tests that your parent might need, why they need them, and when they should be performed
• Diet suggestions to help support their ongoing health and well-being
• Physical activity suggestions to help rebuild their health after treatment and keep them engaged and healthy moving forward
Starting elderly care can be one of the best decisions that you can make in the course of your caregiver journey with your senior. An elderly home care services provider can be with your parent on a fully customized schedule to ensure that they are getting the care, support, and assistance services that are right for their individual needs.
By evaluating their specific challenges and limitations and understanding their goals and preferences, this elderly care provider can give your parent a highly personalized set of services specifically designed to help them remain safe, healthy, comfortable, and happy, and to pursue the highest level of activity, engagement, independence, and fulfillment throughout their later years. As a family caregiver this can give you tremendous peace of mind knowing that both when you are able to be with your parent and when you are not, your senior is in the best hands.