How In-Home Care Can Help Loved Ones Through Chemotherapy

June 16, 2016

in-home-care

Discovering you have cancer can be one of the hardest moments of your life. Now imagine this happening to your elderly loved one. For both you and your loved one, feelings of helplessness and despair are natural, and it can be difficult to process what happens next, including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. To help you, Granny NANNIES can refer dedicated, professional care providers, allowing your loved one to focus on recovery. 

Chemotherapy Treatment
Although there is no known cure for cancer, chemotherapy treatments can have amazing results. The process of chemotherapy includes removing, damaging or eliminating cancer cells, often through several different medications. The dosage of medication depends on body weight in kilograms or body surface area, and radiation and surgery are often used in conjunction. Using multiple drugs to combat cancer is known as combination chemotherapy, and this has three main goals:

  1. Curative Intent: the objective is to destroy the cancers cells with the hope that they don’t come back.
  1. Control the Cancer: in advanced stages, some aggressive cancers cannot be completely destroyed, but the cells can be shrunk or stopped from growing further.
  1. Palliation: at the terminal stage, chemotherapy can be used to ease the pain associated with cancer.

Additional Effects
No medication works in a vacuum, there are always additional unwanted effects. And the powerful drugs used to fight cancer can have serious side effects. This is especially important to note because senior patients experience more side effects at a stronger level than younger people due to the quality of their kidneys. Your kidneys serve as your body’s cleansing machine and people at an older age have decreased kidney function. This means that when senior patients take chemotherapy drugs, their kidneys are not able to properly filter the medication through their bodies. The result is a build-up of drugs in the system, which leads to increased side effects and worsening symptoms.

In addition, the nerve cells of senior patients often have lost their protective coating. This causes nerve transmission signals to work improperly and when combined with chemotherapy, it can result in neuropathy, otherwise known as nerve damage, in the arms, legs, hands and feet.

Other side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Mouth sores
  • Insomnia
  • Anemia

Offering Support
Watching your loved one go through chemotherapy is stressful, but it is important to offer strong and stable support. Remember, it’s the little things that count toward making your loved one’s recovery easier. When you can’t support your love one or need help caring for them, Granny NANNIES is there. The Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Home Health Aides (HHAs) referred by Granny NANNIES are trained to provide the special care required and can do so in the privacy and comfort of home. Available around the clock, Granny NANNIES trained CNAs and HHAs specialize in variety of services to help your loved one:

  • Emotional support to help patients who may be struggling with an ongoing illness or life-threatening disease
  • Help with daily hygiene routines including taking medications, bathing and showering
  • Recreational activities including board games or walking
  • Housekeeping including cooking and cleaning
  • General daily assistance including transportation to and from doctor appointments

These services allow your loved one a chance to escape the pain and most importantly, provide them with an ear to talk to in their time of need. Having a companion is one of the simplest ways to provide comfort and CNAs and HHAs referred by Granny NANNIES are well equipped to do so.

Granny NANNIES was established in 1990 to provide seniors with in-home care. Operating under the founding premise that reliable and affordable senior home care should be available to everyone, Granny NANNIES offers personalized services to meet the requirements of any individual, regardless of age or need, in their home. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we provide quality and trustworthy in-home care for you and your loved ones. For more information on how we can help you, call 800-316-2669 or visit grannynannies.com.