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3 Ways to Make Chemotherapy Easier on Aging Loved Ones

Home Care in Irvine, CA

home careUndergoing chemotherapy is difficult for anyone.The side effects can make daily life challenging both physically and mentally. For seniors, they are likely already experiencing loss of independence. Between the typical effects of aging and the consequences of chemotherapy, it becomes very easy for senior cancer patients to lose control over their lives. Help from loved ones is one of the best options seniors have to make cancer treatment easier. Here are a few ways you can make life better for aging loved ones who are receiving chemotherapy.

1. Find a Day to Clean Up

After a chemo session, your loved one is likely feeling too ill to do even the most basic tasks like clearing clutter off the kitchen counters. If you’ve ever been too sick to clean, you know how awful it can be to live in a messy house and be unable to do anything about it. Plan a day to go over to your loved one’s home and do some superficial cleaning. Reorganize any messes and wipe down the surfaces. Just a short amount of time spent cleaning can make a world of difference for your loved one.

2. Run Errands

Particularly for elderly patients, running errands can become next to impossible. Driving, standing, and walking for any length of time can be very difficult, leading some seniors to avoid these tasks. When you have a spare day, do some grocery shopping for your loved one. Be sure to research beneficial foods for cancer patients and stock their house with good foods. Light meals and snacks are best for chemotherapy days as they can work to prevent nausea. Other foods might help boost immunity or even fight cancer. Just be sure you aren’t buying foods that may inhibit their recovery.

3. Provide Pet Care

Most pets need a certain level of stimulation and exercise along with their meals. For seniors, that can already be a challenge. When that senior is coping with cancer treatment, pet care can easily become too much. If you live nearby, stop by to walk the dog once a day or spend 15 minutes playing with the cat. On treatment days, you may want to offer to come by and feed the animals and take them outside to go to the bathroom. If you don’t live nearby, you can always hire fairly inexpensive services for dog walking and boarding.

4. Encourage Exercise

There will be many days when your loved one will not feel up to exercising, but when they do feel well enough, encourage them to work some physical activity into their day. Staying healthy is essential to their recovery and frequent exercise will certainly play a role in their overall health. They don’t need to do anything overly strenuous. Offer to go on a walk with them around the neighborhood or suggest they take a swim at the local Y. Both will get them moving, which will benefit their physical health and will likely boost their mood as well.

Watching a loved one go through cancer treatment is tough. They often feel ill, experience pain and nausea, and can easily become susceptible to the psychological aspects of being ill. However, help from friends and family can be one of the best ways to remedy these problems.

When loved ones come together to ensure that the senior has a clean home, good food, and happy pets, there is far less risk for mental consequences. By helping out in these simple ways, you are staving off depression which in turn helps reduce many of the physical symptoms. Sometimes, all your loved one needs is a clean home to feel better.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Irvine, CA or the surrounding Orange County areas, please call us at 949-535-2211.  We provide senior care services in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach, Mission Viejo and surrounding areas of Orange County California.  Contact us today to learn more.

Caroline James

http://elderaction.org/

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