Caring for a Senior During Chemotherapy Treatment

Home Care in Markham: Caring for a Senior During Chemotherapy Treatment

Hair loss, nausea, fatigue… When we think about someone undergoing chemotherapy, those are the words that may spring to mind. That’s because they are common side effects of chemotherapy. When you learn that your parent has cancer and will need chemotherapy, the thought of caring for them during treatment can be overwhelming. If you’re faced with caring for your parent during chemotherapy, knowing what to expect and how you can ease some of your parent’s discomfort could make the process a little easier.

Gaining Knowledge About Chemotherapy

The first step in caring for your parent during chemotherapy is to gain as much knowledge about the treatment as possible. Chemotherapy is a treatment that involves medications, or a combination of medications, to attack the cancer cells that are growing in your parent’s body. Sometimes chemotherapy is the only treatment necessary for cancer, but often it is accompanied by surgery, radiation, or both. Talk to your parent’s doctor and find out what your parent’s treatment will entail. Your doctor will likely provide you with reading material that will explain the treatment and what you and your parent can expect.

Managing Side Effects at Home

There are many side effects associated with chemotherapy. Your parent may experience only a few of them or many of them. Here are some of the more common side effects and what can be done to help:

  • Nausea and Vomiting: Your parent’s doctor may prescribe medication to help fight nausea during treatment. To further combat nausea, offer your parent several small meals throughout the day instead of three big ones. Also, let your parent eat whatever sounds good to them. Avoid foods that are high in sugar or greasy as these can make things worse. Your parent may also need to avoid unpleasant smells. Even the smell of food cooking may be bothersome, so you may need to prepare food at your home and bring it to your parent.
  • Infection: People undergoing chemotherapy are often more susceptible to infection, so you’ll need to keep things extra clean. Wash your hands frequently. Be extra vigilant about food safety. Ask people who are sick or who have been sick recently to avoid visiting in person. Instead, ask them to telephone your parent to check in or keep your parent company.
  • Bleeding and Bruising: Your parent may bleed or bruise more easily during chemotherapy. Even everyday tasks like shaving can put your parent at risk. Purchase an electric razor to avoid the nicks that are often caused by shaving. Also, a soft bristled toothbrush will help prevent your parent’s gums from bleeding. If your parent does get a cut, clean it thoroughly and cover it with a sterile bandage.

Getting Help

Caring for someone during chemotherapy is no small task. It can be time consuming and stressful. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the job, hiring a home care provider through an agency can help. A home care provider can come to your parent’s home as often as necessary to assist with caregiving duties. Home care providers can help with tasks around the house that your parent is unable to do, such as light cleaning and cooking. A home care provider can also remind your parent to take the medications prescribed by their doctor. And, sometimes just having someone in the house can ease the worries of a person going through chemotherapy. Your parent may feel safer and more comfortable just knowing there is someone there to help if they need it.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Markham, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.


About Susan Di Michele

We have a team of dedicated healthcare professionals. We strongly believe in improving health and wellness of individuals, their families, and communities. Through nurturance, gentleness and compassion, our team strives to shine a light on what it takes to be role models of caring practice.
Our mission is to support a society in which respect for the rights and dignity of people is a practical reality in all areas of life, where discrimination is a thing of the past, and where a positive view of ill and aging people prevails. We strive to ensure that every individual is informed, supported and encouraged to embrace a lifestyle that has continued meaning, purpose and value. Together these actions genuinely empower and respect individuals’ abilities to make independent choices based on their personal interests, capacities and needs.
The most important of all is “CARE”. We care about the people we serve. Our focus is to treat everyone with respect and dignity they deserve. Our vision is to provide excellence in health care for all those we serve.

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