“My mom was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I work full time and am trying to raise a family. She wants to stay in her home during treatment but how do take care of her at home while trying to keep up with my other family needs? This is just overwhelming and I don’t know where to turn!”
This is a common reaction when a loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer in their senior years. Suddenly having to deal with a major illness, such as breast cancer, can be overwhelming.
3 Benefits of In Home Caregiving for Seniors with Breast Cancer
It’s nearly impossible to take on the roll of caregiver 24/7 for your loved one and still manage to care for your own home and family life. Fortunately, hiring a professional in-home caregiver can not only help you continue to perform your normal everyday duties, but also ensure that your loved one is being cared for properly.
- Remaining at Home – Most people are more comfortable recovering in the comfort of their own home. Moving someone who is battling breast cancer to your home or a temporary nursing home can leave them feeling as if they are a burden.
- Peace of Mind – Knowing that someone is with your loved one when you can’t be will help you have peace of mind. A professional caregiver can not only help ensure that your loved one is comfortable, but they can also help get them to appointments.
- Neutral Resource – Sometimes a loved one will become agitated more easily toward family members, causing conflict during a difficult time. A neutral, friendly caregiver may help to defer some of this frustration.
Senior Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer
Having breast cancer at age 65 and over is different than being diagnosed earlier in life; with treatments & outcomes also differing.
- Age – As we age our immune system weakens, even in an active healthy senior; fighting any health problem is more difficult than when we were younger. This weakened immune system can cause problems during treatment and hinder recovery.
- Multiple Health Issues – Many seniors have one or more other health issues that they are dealing with in their everyday life; heart problems, kidney problems, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or more. Adding breast cancer to a list of ailments already being treated (referred to as comorbidities) taxes the body even more and may worsen ailments.
- Breast Tissue Density – As women age their breasts change; glandular tissue decreases while fatty tissue increases. This change in density and tissue can make it more difficult to read mammograms, thereby making diagnosis harder.
- Menopause – Women who have gone through menopause after the age of 55 are at an increased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer.
You and your loved one deserve quality of life while battling breast cancer. Because the highest risk group is senior women, you may find yourself being your parent’s caregiver even if they were active and healthy before the breast cancer diagnosis.