Learning that your aging parent has been diagnosed with cancer can be one of the most emotionally difficult moments of your caregiver journey with them. As their adult child you are thinking about your parent’s mortality, what they will go through as a result of their disease and the treatment, and the challenges that they will face and that your relationship with face. As their family caregiver, you are thinking about the care needs that they will have and how you will fulfill them, the arrangements that will need to be made, and what you will need to do to handle these new obligations.
From both perspectives you will experience a range of emotions. Some of these can be very difficult and can influence the way that you look at your parent, and at your caregiver responsibilities moving forward. It is extremely important that you are not only aware of your own emotions so that you can handle them in a healthy and beneficial way, but also of how those emotions may be influence how you support and care for your parent after they learn that they are living with this disease. This enables you to take a step back, alter your approach, and ensure that you are still doing what is right for your senior regardless of your own emotional reactions to this new chapter in their lives.
Some ways that your emotions may influence how you support and care for your aging parent when they are facing cancer include:
- Feeling as though your parent needs more help, even if they don’t, and overly managing their life.
- Feeling uncomfortable around your parent and unsure of what you are supposed to do or say, which can make it harder for you to connect with them or even just to go see them.
- Feeling nervous about their health or physical condition, which can cause you to discourage them from being active or engaging in exercise or their favorite activities.
- Disagreeing with what they have chosen for their treatment or management approach, which can leave you resistant to participate and even angry toward them about their choices.
- Sadness making it hard for you to enjoy quality time together, which can negatively influence mental and emotional health, and diminish quality of life.
Starting senior care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you make for them in the course of your caregiver journey with them. A senior care services provider can be in the home with your aging parent on a fully customized schedule to ensure that they have access to the level of care, support, and assistance they need to manage their individual needs, challenges, and limitations. This highly personalized care is specifically designed to manage these issues in the way that is right for your parent so that they are able to enjoy a higher quality of life as they age in place. This can include safe and reliable transportation, assistance with personal care tasks such as bathing or toileting, grocery shopping and running errands, meal preparation, and help keeping the home neat and healthy.
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.