How Can We Help Get Your Loved One Through Cancer Treatment?
Cancer. Is there a more devastating word in the English dictionary? When a loved one receives this dreaded diagnosis, the entire family is affected. It can be completely overwhelming - choosing a care plan, the right team of doctors, helping make treatment appointments. And then there's the after effects to consider. How well the patient can be made comfortable through it all, and how supportive a recovery team they have is having a proven impact on survival rates and outcomes.
How Is a Cancer Treatment Plan Mapped Out?
Cancer treatment for elderly patients requires an approach that involves the patient, the patient’s family, caregivers and members of their healthcare team, all of whom must work together to ensure the best quality of life possible, both during and after treatment.
For example, decisions on how to treat older adults with cancer often depend more on their general health than their actual age. Physicians and cancer specialists, including oncologists and geriatric oncologists, often look at the social, emotional, and spiritual lives of their elderly cancer patients to structure a cancer treatment and recovery program best suited to patient needs and desires.
A cancer treatment plan for elderly patients usually begins with a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA), which takes into consideration some factors often unique to older patients.
Some examples include the following:
- Functional dependence
- Cognitive dysfunction
How Can You Decide If You Will Be Able to Provide the Best Care for Your Loved One at Home?
The following are some of the questions to ask and answer for yourself honestly:
- Can you meet your loved one’s physical and mental needs at home?
- Can you meet your loved one’s physical and psychological needs at home if the condition gets worse?
- Are you willing/able to monitor your loved one’s medical equipment, medications, and health status?
- Are your loved one’s symptoms under control?
- Are you always available to provide care to your loved one?
- Is your loved one safe in the event of an emergency?
Once the decision is made to join a care center, choosing the right one is of utmost importance.
Elderly cancer patients at MediLodge of Alpena are receiving much-needed monitoring and care during this challenging time in their life. We reduce the burden on families and provide them with peace of mind knowing that their loved one’s safety and health are being looked after by an interdisciplinary team that may not only include doctors and nurses, but social workers, psychologists, and physical and occupational therapists, as well.
With many cancers, a patient’s needs change as the tumor progresses or as treatment progresses. Some seniors can safely remain at home during the early stages of cancer, but they require extra care as their disease progresses. The healthcare team and family should re-evaluate the needs of the patient on a regular basis to determine whether or not a care facility may be able to offer more comprehensive care than they are receiving at home. Many times, the patient may also make the decision, after speaking with a member of the oncology or medical team, to enter a care center.
What If Cancer Treatments Are Still Ongoing?
Many treatments for cancer can be completed at MediLodge of Alpena, thereby eliminating or reducing the need to leave the facility to receive treatment. In addition to providing supportive care and tending to the patient's comfort needs, our healthcare team can administer any number of cancer treatments.
Some of these treatments can include the following:
- Intravenous (IV) chemotherapy
- IV antibiotics
- Subcutaneous injections
- Intramuscular Injections
Cancer treatment and care as a resident of MediLodge of Alpena ensures that:
- The cancer treatment plan is executed
- Treatments and medications are being given as prescribed
- The patient is monitored for any side effects of treatments
- Pre-existing conditions and diseases are managed
- The pain is managed
- Emotional support is provided
- The patient is able to eat and drink
- The patient receives personal-care and hygiene support
- Collaboration and communication is maintained with the patient’s physician and oncologist
- The patient continues to receive care, including palliative care, if the cancer progresses
At MediLodge of Alpena, we know that the best cancer recovery efforts result in a better quality of life for our patients. Together, we can help you and your loved ones through this difficult time, with the signature support and care that earned us our five-star reputation.