Distress is a part of any journey with cancer. It is completely normal for your senior, and you, to experience negative feelings as a response to a cancer diagnosis, and to the stress of treatment. High levels of distress, however, can lead to the diminishment of health, well-being, and quality of life, and even negatively impact how your parent manages their treatment and the care that you are able to give them. Helping them to manage their cancer-related distress is an important part of supporting their health and well-being throughout their journey and into their survivorship.
Use these tips to help your senior manage their cancer-related distress:
• Reassure them that they are not alone. A diagnosis of cancer can make your parent feel isolated and alone. Reassure them that this is not the case. There are approximately 14 million people throughout the United States who are currently living with cancer, and the network of people caring for those sufferers is even larger
• Look at coping skills. Virtually everyone has coping skills that they use to help them through difficult situations. Look at the coping skills that your senior has used successfully in the past and encourage them to rely on those to help them through. This can include using relaxation techniques, meditation, exercise, spiritual guidance, journaling, or any other means that allows them to approach and manage their distress in a healthy, constructive way.
• Focus on the small picture. There are going to be days when your parent feels better than others, and there are going to be days when they feel worse. Encourage them to see each day as what matters and to focus on getting through that individual day. Seeing too much into the future can be overwhelming and frustrating. Instead, celebrate each day and each milestone.
• Stay organized. Feeling out of control and confused about what’s happening will only increase distress. Help your parent feel in control and anchored throughout the experience by staying organized. Keep records, write down questions and answers, maintain files of information and test results. Make these easily accessible to your parent and talk about them with your parent and their doctor whenever needed.
How can elderly care help?
Starting home care for your aging parent can be an exceptional way for you to support a higher quality of life as they age in place. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your parent on a customized schedule designed specifically to address your elderly parent’s individual needs, challenges, and limitations.
These highly personalized services help your parent stay healthy, safe, comfortable, and happy while also encouraging as much independence as possible. Services ranging from safe and reliable transportation, meal preparation and eating assistance, help with personal care needs such as bathing, toileting, and dressing, companionship, and help with caring for their home can encourage your parent to maintain a more fulfilling lifestyle and support greater motivation and mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being as they age in place. As their family caregiver, this can give you confidence that they are getting what they need both when you are able to fulfill their needs and when you are not.
If you or a loved-one are considering hiring elderly care in Arlington, VA, please contact the caring staff at Quality Health Services LLC. Call today 703-910-7081.