As family members get older, relatives have to consider their physical condition when deciding on care arrangements. Patients with certain health conditions will need specialized care that they can’t receive at an assisted living facility or even at some nursing home. When care gets this specialized, the risk for elder abuse and neglect increases. Family members must remain vigilant to ensure their loved ones get the specialized care they need. For a generation of seniors who grew up when smoking was at its peak, lung cancer care is a common concern. Here are some things family members should know about provide care for seniors with lung cancer.
When we talk about providing care for seniors with lung cancer, it’s important to note the stage when the cancer was noticed. Lung cancer is sometimes called an “invisible cancer” because people don’t learn they have it until it reaches later stages. Whether the cancer is found at an early stage or later stage will determine which treatment options and care options are available.
At the early stages, lung cancer is treatable, and the patient won’t need specialized care during this process. A traditional caregiver can ensure they take their medicine on time, get them to doctor appointments, and help the patient with tasks they can’t currently do. Caregivers will need to pay extra attention to ensure lung cancer patients are following the doctor’s instructions. It’s not uncommon for lung cancer patients to feel guilty for past actions that may have contributed to their cancer. This feeling can cause them not to follow the doctor’s instructions precisely.
As the patient undergoes treatment for lung cancer, they will begin to need palliative care. Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses such as lung cancer. This care is focused on providing relief from symptoms of the disease and treatment, pain, and stress. Chemotherapy and cancer diagnosis, in general, can be hard on the patient. The goal is to improve the quality of life for the patient, their family members, and caregivers.
Palliative care can be given at home through home health aides or at a nursing home with staff members trained in palliative care. If you have a loved one who needs palliative care, talk to their doctor for a referral. To find a palliative care team near you, here’s a link to a Palliative Care Provider Directory with a state-by-state list.
Lung cancer is a scary diagnosis for anyone, and family members must be there to support loved ones who are going through an emotional rollercoaster, along with trials that come along with chemotherapy. Also, even though they may be very sick, it’s no excuse for nursing homes not to give them the attention and care they need.
If you think your loved ones in managed care aren’t getting the quality of care they deserve, the Law Firm of Steve Watrel, P.A. can help. Our team is experienced with handling all manner of elder abuse and neglect cases and can ensure that your family member isn’t mistreated. Whether you have a question about elder abuse and neglect when it comes to lung cancer or another scenario, send us a message online to schedule a consultation.