Helping your Parent through the Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Senior Care in Hillsborough CA

The side effects of chemotherapy vary from person to person. Knowing what to expect given the worst case scenario will help you prepare to help your loved one get through this difficult time in their life in the best way possible. Common symptoms include nausea and vomiting, increased bleeding and bruising, an increased risk of infection, and hair loss.Senior-Care-in-Hillsborough-CA

Nausea and Vomiting

Not all people taking this form of treatment experience these symptoms, and some chemotherapy drugs are more prone to cause nausea and vomiting than others.  Fortunately, if your parent is suffering from one or both of these, there are several steps you and your loved one can take to minimize them.

  • Suggest smaller meals and snacks throughout the day—a type of eating known as grazing. Encourage them to eat something a few hours before treatment, avoiding foods that are fried or exceptionally sweet.
  • Encourage hydration by always having a glass of water near them. Unsweetened fruit juices, ginger ale and green tea are also good additions. Ginger may be taken in other forms as well such as capsules, tea, candies and ginger snap cookies.
  • Have hard candies available to suck on. These might include lemon or chamomile drops. These stimulate gastric fluids which may help reduce nausea.
  • Wear wrist bands designed to reduce nausea and motion sickness. These work by applying pressure to the Pericardium 6 pressure point—a pressure point found in Chinese medicine.
  • Try to keep their home free of unpleasant smells which can trigger this reaction. Aromatherapy oils such as lavender, chamomile and peppermint are good scents to have on hand—really, whatever appeals to your parent. Smells can take you back to nice memories or ahead to future expectations.
  • If the nausea or vomiting is severe, their doctor may prescribe an anti-nausea medication.

Bleeding and Bruising

This symptom also varies from person to person. Consider purchasing a soft-bristled tooth brush to prevent their gums from bleeding if this appears to be an issue. Be sure to apply anti-bacterial ointment and a bandage to any cuts and scrapes that do materialize as your parent will be more prone to infections during treatment.

Protecting Yourself

There are safety precautions you need to be aware of as a family caregiver. These include avoid coming into contact with bodily fluids and, when you do, wear disposable gloves. Wash their sheets, towels and clothes separately.

Senior Care Provider

A senior care provider has cared for many seniors going through the effects of chemotherapy. They can assist with the daily activities of living as well as prepare healthy meals and run errands such as grocery shopping. They can provide the support and companionship so vital during life’s challenges and provide you with the time you need to take care of yourself as you care for your aging parent.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional senior care in Hillsborough, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203

Evan Loevner, CEO

As a former hospital administrator, I launched Aviva with the goal of having a more focused, direct impact on the delivery of care than I could ever accomplish within a hospital setting. For me, the joy of running an organization like Aviva In-Home Care is having the ability to positively improve the lives of individuals needing customized care. As a passionate San Francisco resident, I know that many local seniors can benefit from new approaches to in-home care, that will bring them more connection to the community, and provide families with a greater sense of comfort that their loved one is indeed matched with an ideal caregiver. This starts by including the family throughout the care planning process, a key component of the concept of “family-centered care,” which has been adopted by top medical centers. A strong communication loop between family, the caregiver, Aviva management, and community healthcare practitioners is essential for ensuring that all the needs of the client are met. While this may not sound like a novel concept, it is not commonly practiced within the home care community.

At Aviva, we also use the latest in health technology to maximize opportunities for communication between all members of our client’s care circles. We utilize nursing oversight to ensure that we are in compliance with physician orders, and that our careplans are being properly administered. Lastly, Aviva is a proud member of The Senior’s Choice, a national network of leading home care agencies that share best practices and focus on continual improvement.

As owner of the business, I also promise to you my direct involvement in your loved ones care, and will always make myself available for feedback and improvements in our service. I look forward to working with you and your loved one on creating a care plan that is perfectly suited to the family's needs. Thank you for considering Aviva as your care partner.