Community Blog

Primary Challenges of Seniors Undergoing Cancer Treatments

By Debbie Humphrey

Nearly 1.8 million new cases of cancer were expected in North America in 2012, according to the American Cancer Society, an estimate based on their worldwide calculation methods at that time. I can only imagine what that current estimate would be!

As we recognize World Cancer Day 2017, February 4th, it is important we raise awareness to the plight of seniors undergoing cancer treatments for this dreadful disease and the issues they experience. There’s no better time to review these difficulties and the ways you and I can help.

In my business, I have recognized that seniors with cancer experience a great number of challenges when it involves treatment and recovery. Fortunately, I have compassionate caregivers to help alleviate some of the burdens the elderly experience.

When cancer is diagnosed, patients are usually referred to a new specialist for care and treatment. It is crucial that the new doctor have all of the information necessary about his senior patient in order to make the best treatment recommendations. However, there have been occasions when seniors become so focused on the cancer, they fail to mention the chronic conditions from which they suffer, and the medications they take for those conditions. That’s when it benefits the patient to have a family member, trusted friend or caregiver present to make sure all medical issues are reviewed and addressed.

For example, Grandma may be dealing with arthritis along with cancer, but she may put the cancer treatments first, above the arthritic pain. This is not good, because she has probably been taking medications or doing certain therapies to help those maladies. It is vital that the oncologist in charge of treating the cancer be advised of this condition to tailor the best cancer treatment recommendations for Grandma.

Activities of daily living for seniors are easily affected by certain medical conditions, especially cancer treatments. Depending on the type of treatments they receive, the elderly may be rendered unable to perform light household chores, grocery shopping, or even basic personal hygiene. Seniors do not have to go it alone! Caregivers are available 24/7/365, to assist with all of these things, including cooking healthy meals which is increasingly more important as we age, and even more so while undergoing cancer treatments.

When chronic conditions are present, like diabetes, blood pressure issues, heart disease, lung disease, arthritis, it is even more important for the patient to eat a proper diet, and monitor medications carefully to ensure these conditions remain stable during cancer treatments.

Many seniors no longer feel comfortable driving, so they worry about how they will get to and from their cancer treatment schedule. If family members and friends are not available to help, the caregivers on my team are prepared to provide safe transportation assistance to and from doctor’s appointments, cancer treatments, physical therapy, or whatever is necessary.

Home Helpers® proudly serves male and female seniors with cancer in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. If you know a senior undergoing cancer treatments who could use some help, contact us today to learn more about meal preparation, transportation assistance, companion care, and the many services offered through Home Helpers®. We are Making Life Easier℠. 727-972-2539

Source: American Cancer Society