Community Blog

In-Home Help Recommended for Senior Colonoscopy Prep

By Debbie Humphrey

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which got its start thanks to President Bill Clinton in 2000. According to the American Cancer Society, “Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States.” Their estimates for new colorectal cancer cases in America for 2017, exceed 135,000.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in our nation, and the third leading cause in women. This terrible disease is expected to cause more than 50,000 deaths in 2017.

Home Helpers ClearwaterThe number of deaths has been decreasing over the last few decades, thanks to early detection and treatment. The age group most likely to be diagnosed with, or treated for, colorectal cancer remains adults over the age of 50. It is recommended that everyone over the age of 50, be screened for colorectal cancer, especially if you have certain risk factors of the disease, which include smoking, obesity, heredity, Chrons Disease and other related conditions.

I have been contacted about in-home care for seniors suffering from colorectal cancer, and I have caregivers who have helped seniors prepare for colonoscopies, the standard means of screening for polyps and other abnormalities in the rectum and colon. The prep has precise instructions that require diligence in order to achieve the desired results.

Seniors may not adhere to the instructions if they are alone, which is why a family member or caregiver can make sure 1) no solid food is eaten the day before; 2) 8 ounces of water are consumed each hour as directed; 3) the required magnesium citrate and over-the-counter laxatives are taken as directed for maximum cleansing of the bowels; and 4) No food or drinks are consumed after midnight the day of the procedure.

Also, because this process requires significant bathroom time, seniors with ambulatory issues need assistance getting to and from the restroom, and on and off the commode. It is important to pay close attention to hygiene during this cleanse, as well, which can sometimes be problematic for seniors.

The scope itself is considered a surgery, because an anesthetist administers a potent sedative so the patient will sleep through the event. The colonoscopy only takes about 30 minutes, but it is crucial the patient is adequately prepared the day before, prior to the scheduled procedure.

Home Helpers® proudly serves male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. If you know a special senior who suffers from colorectal cancer, or someone who is facing a colonoscopy and needs help with the prep, our compassionate caregivers can help. Contact us today to learn more about the many services offered through Home Helpers®. We are Making Life Easier℠. 727-972-2539

Source: American Cancer Society