Older Adults and Cancer
In general, older adults being treated for cancer may have some/all of the following characteristics:
- Elders may be less tolerant of certain cancer treatments. Certain drugs effect people differently, and the immune system may already be compromised due to aging/health issues.
- Aging adults may have a reduced capacity to respond to the disease and accompanying treatment due to physically decreased reserves.
- Our elderly parents may have multiple medical problems requiring concurrent treatments. It is very important to have a medical professional involved in diagnosis, preventative maintenance, prescription and drug interaction.
- Seniors may have problems with memory loss, or an inability to properly function with their normal activities of daily living (ADL’s). Many times some additional assistance and supervision through a homecare agency will keep seniors safe, while maintaining normal and timely medication schedules.
- A support network of family, friends, or homecare staff can provide a supervisory presence to insure safety and dignity for seniors at home.
Obviously, medical professionals need to take into account an older patient’s current health and functionality. If an elder falls and breaks a hip or elbow, this recovery can greatly compromise cancer treatments. The recovery time may delay treatment, and require a prescription of physical therapy to increase strength and reduce future risks for a patient who may become weaker as a result of cancer treatment.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164
Email: [email protected]