People often say that the unknown is the most frightening thing that you can face. This is clearly evidenced in waiting for the results of a cancer screening. If your elderly parent is preparing to undergo a cancer screening they will face a period of time during which they are waiting for the result. This can be a nerve-wracking and emotionally challenging time for your senior, and as their family caregiver it is important that you are there for them and help them through this time.
Use these tips to support your parent as you wait for cancer screening results:
- Don’t focus just on the results. This time does not have to just be about the screening that they underwent or the results that you are waiting for. While it is important to talk about these and to be available to your parent, it can also be very beneficial to distract both of you with something fun. Plan an outing or activity to do together so that you can make memories and enjoy quality time together rather than just worrying.
- Talk about the future. Whatever results your parent ends up getting, undergoing this screening has the potential of changing their lives. If they are diagnosed with cancer they will need to make decisions regarding their treatment or management of the disease and possibly discuss final wishes and arrangements. If they are not diagnosed with cancer you may want to talk about their risk factors and what you can do together to protect their health and reduce their risk as much as possible.
- Be there for them. Most cancer screenings are relatively quick and do not take a long time to produce results. This does not mean, however, that the wait or the experience is easy. Just the thought of having cancer can be very emotionally taxing and your senior might experience stress, anxiety, depression, and other emotions related to it. Be sure that you are there for them and that they understand that you are available. Be ready to talk to them about what is going on and how they feel about it. Express yourself openly so that they feel more comfortable opening up to you and work together to confront and cope with these emotions in healthy and constructive ways.
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 help them 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.