Elderly Care for Seniors with Breast Cancer

Mary is a senior who lives alone. Her daughters live in a different state and are not always present to care for their mother. One day Mary looked in the mirror and noticed some changes in her breasts and is unsure what to do. Linda, an elder care professional who visits three times a week, listens to Mary’s concerns and provides her with information on how to perform a self-examination for potential breast cancer.

Even after checking her breasts, Mary is still unsure about what she is feeling. As part of her elder care services, Linda accompanies Mary to her physician to seek a professional diagnosis.

 

Elder Care in Toronto: Caregiving For A Senior With Breast Cancer

Elder Care in Toronto: Caregiving For A Senior With Breast Cancer

 

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a form of cancer where cells in the breast grow abnormally. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer. It is typically found in women over the age of 60 but has been diagnosed in those of a younger age. Risk factors for breast cancer are age, family history of breast cancer, and obesity. Early symptoms of breast cancer tend to be limited to the breast and can include:

  • A lump in the armpit or breast
  • Thickening of the breast
  • Changes in the shape or size of the breast
  • Changes in the nipple, including the nipple pointing inward
  • Peeling, flaking of areola or breast skin
  • Redness, pitting of skin like an orange

 

In its later stages, symptoms of breast cancer spread throughout the body and are more debilitating. These symptoms can include, but are not limited to:

  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle weakness
  • Headaches

 

Managing breast cancer can be a team effort

After a thorough examination, the doctor informed Mary that she did not have breast cancer. This was good news for Mary, who was happy that her elder care professional Linda was there to help her through the diagnosis. Her doctor, however, did remind her that she was at a higher risk for developing breast cancer due to her age, gender, and family history of breast cancer, and therefore should begin prevention efforts. On a subsequent visit to her home, Linda discussed with Mary ways that elder care can help with ailments like breast cancer.

 

As an elder care professional, Linda can help Mary with:

 

-Accompaniment to annual mammograms appointments: With this recent scare, Mary’s mammogram appointments could now become a source of stress and anxiety. Linda will help her manage her anxiety prior to and after the examination.

-Managing a healthy weight: As obesity is one of the risk factors, Linda will work to teach Mary age-appropriate exercises to help her manage her weight.

-Managing a healthy diet: Teaching Mary to eat healthier will also aid in the prevention of breast cancer.

-Keeping family informed: Linda knows that Mary’s family lives out-of-state and cannot be present to help with her daily needs and appointments, but still want to be informed of their mother’s condition. As an elder care professional, Linda, with Mary’s permission, can inform the family of conditions and how to help when they come to visit their mom.

 

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Toronto, please contact the caring professionals at  Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.

 

Sources

Canadian Cancer Society

Journal of Oncology Practice

About Susan Di Michele

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