Finding out that your aging loved one has cancer can be devastating. Hearing that they are making a choice about their treatment that you do not agree with can be just as, if not even more, difficult. As both their adult child and their family caregiver, you want what is best for your parent. You want them to confront their cancer journey and make the most of their later years. You don’t want to think about their mortality or the challenges and difficulties that can come along with this disease. In many cases, however, elderly adults do not approach a cancer diagnosis in the same way as a younger person would. Rather than selecting the aggressive treatment that they want to use, they elect not to pursue treatment and instead seek the best quality of life possible for the duration of the rest of their life.
It can be very difficult to hear that your parent does not want to seek treatment. Coping with it effectively is key to giving your senior the compassionate, respectful care that they deserve as they face the journey ahead.
Use these tips to help you cope with your parent choosing not to pursue cancer treatment:
- Let yourself feel the emotions. Take the time to really experience the emotions that you have in this situation. Let yourself feel your reaction and evaluate these feelings. Understand why you are having them and start to work through them. Giving yourself permission to feel these will help you to cope more effectively.
- Remember this is about your parent. Remind yourself that this situation is about your parent and what they want for their life moving forward. As much as you want them to be here with you and think that you know what is best for them, you must respect their wishes and know that they will be happiest and most content if they make the choice that is truly right for them.
- Understand why. Rather than thinking about what you think the benefit of treatment could be, try to think of this choice from your parent’s perspective. Think about how the treatments could affect them and what they might do to their quality of life. Consider whether this would actually enhance their life or if it would be better for them to just continue to seek as much fulfillment and enjoyment as they can in the time that they have left.
Starting elder care can be one of the best decisions that you can make for your senior during the course of your care journey with them. An elderly home care services provider can be in the home with your aging parent on a fully customized schedule that ensures that they have continued and reliable access to the care, support, and assistance that they need to manage their needs in the way that is right for them. Through this type of personalized care the care provider can help your parent stay healthy, safe, comfortable, and happy, and to pursue an independent, active, and fulfilling lifestyle as they age in place. These services can include safe and reliable transportation, assistance with personal care tasks such as bathing, mobility support to manage balance and other mobility issues, meal preparation, help keeping the home tidy, and companionship.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Hamilton, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.