Category Archives: Challenging Diseases/illnesses

Managing Appetite Loss from Cancer Treatment

Home Health Care Tyler TX - Managing Appetite Loss from Cancer Treatment

One of the side effects associated with cancer treatment is loss of appetite. If your aging relative is undergoing cancer treatment, you may notice that they aren’t eating as much as usual. Or, they might tell you that they feel full after eating just a little bit of food. Although they may not feel like eating, good nutrition is especially important during cancer treatment because it helps with overall health and helps to keep the senior stronger.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your family member to get enough nutrition even when they aren’t interested in food. Below are some tips to try.

Offer Several Small Meals

If the older adult can’t eat much at one time, it’s okay for them to eat just a small amount at one time. Instead of sticking to the traditional three large meals a day, offer them many small meals throughout the day. Maximize the nutritional value of the smaller meals by using the healthiest foods possible. Make dishes that include lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Serve High Calorie Foods

When seniors aren’t able to eat a lot of food, it can be hard to consume enough calories. To compensate for that, serve high calorie foods. To increase calorie counts, try serving foods with butter, sauces, and gravy. Other high-calorie foods you can add to dishes are sour cream, nuts, nut butters, and cream.

Eliminate Beverages with Meals

Although it is important that your aging relative gets enough fluid to prevent dehydration, don’t offer a drink with their meal. The reason for this is that liquids can fill up the stomach, leaving less room for food. Instead, stop liquid intake about half an hour before the meal and wait until 30 minutes after the meal to resume drinking.

Make Mealtimes Pleasant

Try making mealtimes feel more special to make them more appealing. Turn on some soft music, use attractive place settings, and add some pretty flowers to the table or tray. Pay attention to the way food is plated and use a wide variety of foods in different colors and textures to make the food more attractive.

Get Help from Home Health Care Providers

If the older adult is feeling fatigued, they may not have the energy to make food for themselves. Home health care providers can take over the tasks that sap their energy, including cooking. Home health care providers can make lots of small meals and snacks during the day that use nutritious foods. Home health care providers can also offer companionship during meals, which can make eating more enjoyable.

Sources:  https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/appetite-loss

https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/side-effects/appetite-loss

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer/art-20045046

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Health Care Services in Tyler TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300

A Senior with Lung Cancer Will Need a Lot of Support

Caregiver Jacksonville TX - A Senior with Lung Cancer Will Need a Lot of Support

When an elderly person has been diagnosed with lung cancer, the prognosis may not be very good. There may be a decent chance that they beat this cancer and steal a few more years of life, but no matter what happens in the next year or two, he or she is going to require a tremendous amount of support.

This may turn a family member into a de facto caregiver.

It could be a spouse or adult child who lives relatively close to this elderly person. Those individuals may not even think twice about stepping up and helping this person through their ordeal. Many family caregivers fail to realize, though just how much work this will require.

It could become more than a full-time job.

Most people will step up to be a caregiver for an aging parent, spouse, or other individual in their family out of a sense of responsibility. They may feel as though everyone else expects them to do this, especially if they live in close proximity to this other person.

Whatever expectations there are, most people dramatically underestimate just how much work this type of job requires. That’s because they don’t think about it as a job. They think about it as a responsibility or obligation.

A lot of people also assume it’s just about stopping by, checking on this individual, perhaps helping them prepare a meal when they are feeling worn out and wiped out by the chemotherapy or radiation treatments, and so on.

What it often leads to is a lot more.

This family caregiver could end up helping this person get out of bed, take a shower, get dressed, go to the bathroom, clean the house, shopping, take them to appointments, offer companionship, sit with them and have a conversation when they feel horrible, and so on.

No matter what that family caregiver has going on in the rest of his or her life, all of this extra stuff is going to place a tremendous amount of pressure on their time. It can also demand a lot out of this family caregiver emotionally.

The best thing people can do is consider home care services.

An experienced caregiver who works for an agency would be one of the best options. Not only could a professional and experienced home care aide be hired for just a short amount of time during the week, such as a couple of hours one or two days a week, through an agency those hours can be increased if needed, without much hassle.

If people don’t have prior experience helping somebody go through a fight like this, against lung cancer, they may be ill-equipped physically and emotionally to handle the rigors for months on end. In that case, home care is the best option.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Caregiver Services in Jacksonville TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300

What Might Your Senior Need in Order to Manage a COPD Flare?

Elderly Care Chandler TX - What Might Your Senior Need in Order to Manage a COPD Flare?

While COPD is troubling enough on its own, flares can crop up with very little notice at all. Being able to respond quickly with a plan you and her doctor have put in place can help your elderly loved one to recover quickly from a COPD flare. Double check your existing plan to make sure that you’ve got all of your bases covered.

A Rescue Inhaler

Your senior may have an inhaler that she uses every single day as well as another one, often called a rescue inhaler. The rescue inhaler is one that your elderly family member uses to help her open up her airways when they’ve become too constricted for her to be able to breathe easily. While other inhalers may work for longer periods of time, they’re also slower. These medications are formulated to work quickly.

Oral Medications

Your senior’s doctor may also prescribe oral medications after she experiences a flare. These are typically corticosteroids. They work to keep your elderly family member’s airways as open as possible after the flare so that she can continue to breathe. If there is a lot of inflammation in her lungs, your senior may find that she’s taking oral steroids for longer periods of time.

Oxygen Therapy

Supplemental oxygen is something that might become necessary for your elderly family member in the later stages of COPD. It can also help if she becomes extremely panicked when she’s unable to breathe easily. Oxygen therapy may feel complicated to operate at first, but as you and your elderly family member become more accustomed to the equipment, it’s easier to manage.

Treatment in a Hospital Setting

If the situation is severe, your elderly family member may need to go to the hospital. At the hospital, they may need to give her intravenous medications or other therapies in order to help her to breathe. She may also get other medications, such as preventative antibiotics to help prevent pneumonia or other lung infections from taking hold. If your elderly family member is very lucky, she may not need to be admitted to the hospital in order to continue treatments.

It’s really important that both you and your senior understand the treatment plan recommended by your elderly family member’s doctor. Having elderly care providers available can help you to follow that plan closely, especially when you’re still getting used to oxygen tanks, inhalers and other equipment you might need.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care Services in Chandler TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300

What Happens When Your Mom’s Gallbladder is Infected?

Elder Care Lindale TX - What Happens When Your Mom's Gallbladder is Infected?

Cholecystitis is a condition in which the gallbladder becomes inflamed. It’s typically caused by gallstones. If your mom’s gallbladder becomes infected, she needs medical treatment as quickly as possible.

Some people never experience symptoms. It’s believed that the stones at this point are still small. As they increase in size, they can cause a blockage. If your mom has pain in the center of her abdomen that may spread through the back to the right shoulder, seek medical care. She might also have a fever, nausea, and vomiting. Left untreated, the gallbladder may rupture.

What the Gallbladder is

The gallbladder is a small pouch that sits below the liver. It holds bile that is released from the liver into the small intestine. In the small intestine, the bile aids digestion by breaking down fats. When the gallbladder isn’t working effectively, the flow of bile slows and can crystallize to form gallstones. Women and overweight people are more likely to develop gallstones.

Tests She’ll Undergo

At a medical office or in the ER, some of your mom’s blood will be drawn to see if she has an infection. A CT scan will be used to see if there are gallstones or inflammation. The doctor may also run a test that checks the production of bile in the gallbladder and flow into the liver and small intestines to see if there is a blockage.

What Happens Next

Depending on the test results, your mom may be prescribed antibiotics to battle any infection. Pain medications will also be used to help ease severe pain. After that, a procedure to remove gallstones may be necessary. In some cases, the entire gallbladder will need to be removed.

When a gallbladder removal is needed, the surgery has become much simpler in the past ten or so years using laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A small incision is made and with the help of small scopes, the gallbladder is removed from the liver and removed through the incision. Per Arizona Digestive Health, many patients are able to go home the same day.

After a gallbladder removal, your mom should take it easy for a week. Look at elder care services to make it easier for her to recover. Elder care aides can help her with laundry, light housework, dishes, and meals. A caregiver can also drive her to follow-up appointments. Call our elder care agency to discuss her upcoming surgery and services she’ll need as she recovers.

Sources:  http://www.arizonadigestivehealth.com/health-topics/gallstones/

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care Services in Lindale TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300