Owners' Blog

Talking to Your Senior About Getting Screened for Cancer

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

Being a family caregiver for your elderly adult is not just about recognizing at the health challenges and issues they are facing and helping them manage them. While this is an important task, you should also encourage your parent to take control of their health by being proactive. Being proactive about their health means getting them in the most information possible about what they are facing, and enabling them to make the decisions that are right for them at all junctures in their life. This is why as a family caregiver, talking to your senior about getting screened for cancer can be a valuable way to protect their health and also allow at them to be in control as much as possible. For many elderly adults, however, this can be a very sensitive conversation. Approaching it with honesty and openness is essential to making the most of this conversation and helping your parent to make the decision that is right for them.

Use these tips to help you talk to your senior about getting screened for cancer:

  • Go over the recommendations from health organizations and discuss which screenings your parent should consider according to those recommendations
  • Talk to them about the recommendations from their doctor about which screenings they should consider, and compare them to the health organization recommendations so they can begin to see which screenings may be the most important for their needs and their current health
  • Ask them their initial thoughts about getting screened, and any concerns they may have. This can allow you to discuss these concerns and ease them for your parent
  • Confront the reality that your parent may not want to be screened for cancer because they already know they would not pursue a treatment if they did get diagnosed with the disease. This can be a very difficult thing for you to accept as their family caregiver, but it is important to be there for your senior and offer love and compassion regardless of how you feel about their personal decision
  • If your parent does state they are considering not pursuing treatment and that's why they don't want to get screened for cancer, explain to them it is not just about treatment. Instead, getting screened can provide vital health information for future generations of your family
  • Plan to talk to their doctor together so you can get more information about the screenings the doctor recommends, including how the screening is done and what information it can provide

It is a common misconception that home care is only for those adults who are extremely elderly or who have extensive care needs. While the personalized services of a care provider can certainly be beneficial for these seniors, as a family caregiver is important to recognize that an in-home senior care services provider can offer a tremendous range of benefits for other seniors as well. Even if your senior is largely independent and only has mild to moderate needs, these services can help him to live their best life. Services can include safe and reliable transportation, assistance with personal care needs, help with activities of daily living, medication reminders, companionship, and more.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Lilburn, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.