One of the greatest risks that aging adults face is cancer. In fact, getting older is a leading risk factor for developing cancer and approximately 60 percent of people who are living with cancer throughout the United States are over the age of 64. As a family caregiver, this might make you wonder if your parent’s advanced age has more to do with how cancer can impact their lives than just making it more likely that they will experience it. You might wonder if your parent is simply “too old” to fight the cancer.
For most people, thoughts of diagnosis with cancer and starting the right course of treatment are virtually inseparable. They know that if they were to receive such a diagnosis, they would immediately begin to pursue treatment. They might even know the type of treatment that they would prefer. This, however, might not be the case for your senior. You might find that when discussing the possibility of cancer they indicate that they might not pursue treatment at all. There are many different reasons why this might be the choice that they make, but it is important that you discuss these with them so that they are making the decision that is truly right for them rather than just assuming that they are “too old”.
Some things to consider when discussing the possibility of cancer treatment with your loved one include:
- Age. It is true that age does make an impact on treatment and should be discussed. The potential for successful treatment changes depending on age, with younger seniors having better average potential than older seniors, but there are many other factors so your parent should not stop with this element of the decision-making process.
- Goals. Why would your parent want to seek treatment for cancer? Clarifying your parent’s goals for treatment can help to determine if seeking treatment is truly a viable choice for them considering their age and other factors.
- Current health. Most seniors are dealing with one or more health challenges and complications. The more health issues that your parent is facing, especially if they are dealing with particular ones such as chronic infections, the lower the potential for benefits from cancer treatment.
- Stage of cancer. Early detection of cancer increases the chances for successful treatment for your parent. If they have already progressed to an advanced stage of cancer, they might decide that the diminishment of quality of life and expense that could come with cancer treatments is not worth the potential benefits.
Starting elderly care for your senior may be one of the best decisions that you can make for your senior throughout the course of your caregiver journey with them. An elderly home care services provider can be there with your parent on a customized schedule to ensure that they get the support, care, and assistance that is right for them while also keeping you as the primary force behind their care. A set of highly personalized services are tailored specifically to your parent’s needs, challenges, and limitations, and designed around the goal of helping your parent to stay healthy, happy, comfortable, and safe while maintaining as much independence and fulfillment as they age in place. If they are going through a challenging journey, such as dealing with cancer, you can feel confident that the care of an elderly care provider can help them through it in meaningful and beneficial ways. This can include helping them to stay physically active, providing emotional support and companionship, and giving reminders to help them stay compliant with their medications and treatments.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Cranford, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.