Chemotherapy Care at Home for Elders
Chemotherapy care plan not only makes an elder’s life easier but is also a necessity considering the complications chemotherapy procedures can bring to the table. Chemotherapy is a way to treat cancer by using drugs. It kills cancer cells all through your body. The problem with this is that it even affects the healthy tissues of the skin, hair, bone marrow, and intestines. In some cases, it may only be able to keep cancer from spreading in other parts of the body instead of stopping it altogether. Sometimes it is only used to shrink tumors that can cause pain or pressure. Often it happens with a combination of other treatments like biological therapy and radiation therapy.
The overall procedure results in various changes in the human body. The elder may feel ill and tired after chemo. He may feel sun sensitivity, taste changes, hair loss, and irregular fevers. Also, constipation, diarrhea, and burning pain while urinating are possible. There is a possibility of sores in the mouth, lung congestion, unusual cough, sore throat, and breathing problem. Passing such a phase in life is difficult for an elder. Especially if they are alone. To help them out of this phase with a hearty attitude, they need the support of professional chemotherapy care.
The Purpose of Chemotherapy Care at Home for Elderly
TAfter Chemotherapy care involves a significant role of a skilled caregiver. Plus, it involves the proper patient and family education with proper follow-up care for chemotherapy patients. Elders need an efficient support system after chemotherapy to maintain a healthy life. Also, this care during chemotherapy is necessary at home to make sure the patient stays away from hospital infections. Read on to understand these reasons in detail.
To Assure the Health and Safety of the Elder.
A lot of precaution is necessary even after 48 hours of chemotherapy. The person should use nitrile gloves to handle the patient’s laundry. The caregiver should keep his clothes in a leak-proof plastic bag. Regular washing of hands and body parts is also crucial. Otherwise, exposure to such things can lead to infections, abdominal pains, headaches, and cancer later in life. Only an experienced caregiver understands the effects of staying with a patient after his chemotherapy. So, anyone else must try to keep a distance from the elder. Additionally, the emotional state of the patient should also be taken care of. That’s why Emoha's skilled caregivers make the elders engage in games and activities which distract them from worrying and overthinking. Apart from this, chemotherapy caregivers keep reviewing the health history. They track pathological records, imaging studies, etc. to make sure the elder is safe and healthy at home after his treatment.
To Reduce the Risk of Infections.
Getting treatment at a hospital instead of at home can expose your elder to many infections. It is essential to keep away from infections because chemotherapy weakens the immune system of the elder. Also, advancing age harms the immunity as well. Overall, there is a reduction in white blood cells, which fight against viruses and bacteria to protect our bodies. This susceptibility to infections is Neutropenia. In case your elder undergoes this condition, he might feel fever, chills, and sweats along with cough. He might experience shortness of breath with nasal congestion or burning sensation/pain during urination. Infections can lead to sepsis-like conditions that have life-threatening effects on the body. Ultimately, such issues can lead to tissue damage and organ failure as well. Getting chemotherapy care at home makes sure to keep the patient away from such infections, especially because he must stay away from other patients getting chemotherapy too.
For Patient/Family Education
Education for people receiving Chemotherapy is an on-going process. It is necessary because with a diagnosis of cancer an elder loses control over their life. A chemotherapy nursing care plan with education about the treatment and care after Chemotherapy helps to regain that control. From knowing the duration of treatment to the possible adverse effects, the more information an elder and his family has, the better it is. Patients must also be aware of how long they will have to suffer through the effects - whether it is temporary or permanent. They should know the signs and symptoms that make it a must to visit the doctor. Knowledge about chemotherapy spills is important and also how to handle it. The elder must also be aware of the medicines and when to take those during chemotherapy care. All these are not easy tasks, especially if the elder is handling them all alone. That’s why it’s a must to get a caregiver at home and post chemotherapy care at home for the elder’s health, comfort, and convenience.
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Chemotherapy Care at Home FAQs
Intravesical chemotherapy happens to those elders who suffer from cancer of the bladder. During this procedure, the doctor instills Mitomycin C in the bladder. Intravesical chemotherapy nursing care plan involves proper patient education because the procedure brings with it a risk of many complications.
No, chemotherapy is not necessarily palliative care. It can be palliative when the elder is in stage 4 of cancer.
Not every time the word chemotherapy means a cure for cancer. Often, cancer may not get cured. So, chemotherapy - which specifically only reduces the size of cancerous tumors - alleviates the patient's symptoms. This extends life to a certain extent, without any guarantee of a cure. Mostly, stage 4 cancer patients undergo palliative chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy mouth care is an essential component of chemotherapy nursing care plan which involves proper dental care before, during, and after chemotherapy. The elder should get all cavities, fillings, crowns, gum disease and broken teeth fixed before the procedure. During the treatment, brushing regularly 2-3 times a day is essential. Also, flossing and lip care during chemotherapy are necessary too. After the treatment, the elder can shift back to the regular dental care routine. All this is crucial because improper mouth care for chemotherapy patients can lead to infections, sores in the mouth, changes in gum, teeth, and salivary glands after chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is an expensive procedure in itself. Thankfully, care during chemotherapy and after can be affordable. Contact us at 1800-123-44555 to know the cost depending on the type of cancer and treatment your elder is undergoing.
You can get After Chemotherapy care for your elder at Emoha. Currently, we offer this service at home for places near Delhi, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida, and Greater Noida. For other regions in the country, we only provide virtual support and coordination as of now. Call us at 1800-123-445555 to know more.