Our owner is a three-time cancer survivor. This is one of the primary reasons he became an Assisting Hands Home Care franchise owner. He wants to give back his knowledge about cancer care, experience, and help as an expert in providing care to those with cancer. Our home care agency provides the support, expertise, and individualized care that your loved one needs at any stage of Cancer.
Cancer treatments are so varied and specialized these days. The advances they make every month are truly amazing, unique, and show more promise than ever before. Whether you’re taking chemotherapy, infusion therapy, radiation treatments, combinations of these or other therapies, we understand that working through the side effects are both physically and mentally challenging.
Common Side Effects
Anemia – Anemia occurs because of a low red blood cell count. Chemotherapy is indiscriminate in killing rapidly dividing cells. That’s why it’s effective in killing cancer cells and slowing cancer progression. Unfortunately, it also kills red blood cells, hair follicles and other rapidly dividing cells. Red blood cells deliver iron to the body and oxygen as well. Lack of red blood cells can change a person’s diet, nutritional needs and craving for certain foods. It can also create fatigue due to lower oxygen.
Bowel changes – Cancer treatments affect the intestines as well. Intestinal cells also divide rapidly. Intestines sometimes get fragile and frail and can also affect what an individual can eat. Constipation and diarrhea are both common side effects. Our caregivers can help encourage drinking of water & ensure they are staying hydrated. Similarly, we can help with incontinence care and personal care if that is required.
Dental weakness – Chemotherapy has an absolutely horrible effect on teeth and makes them softer as time goes on. This is not an often talked about side effect. We can help maintain good oral care of the client, including specialized toothpaste and mouthwashes.
Fatigue & Weakness – This is by far the worst side effect I experienced. I was unable to do the things I was always able to do, such as walk upstairs, stand for a long period of time, read or even walk. As an independent person I found it very frustrating. I was not very good at accepting help, and it was hard for me to accept help. However, when I realized that others WANTED to help, I eventually became better at allowing them to help me.
Weakness and fatigue creates a very real fall risk. Infection and muscle weakness is not something you want during this time, so it is very advisable to get Assisting Hands to provide care for ambulation and transfers.
Hair Loss – Hair loss is something to expect. Different people have different opinions about how to deal with it. And you’ll likely lose not only the hair on your head, but all over; including eye brows, facial hair, and hair on your limbs. Some people will feel cold and some will feel hot. Keeping your body temperature comfortable may involved changing or removing of blankets, clothes, or adding / removing ice. We understand and can help with maintaining proper body temperature.
Diet – Cancer treatments cause changes in the taste buds. Foods you may have loved in the past may no longer be appealing. Sugary foods may taste metallic. Your brain may desire milk or cheese products, but the rest of your body will not want that. You may even lack an appetite. Your body will need iron and other wholesome foods. Our caregivers can work with you, your family and health team to prepare a great diet that works best for you.
Nausea & Vomiting – Cancer treatments are harsh and it’s very common to have nausea and vomiting. Nausea can also come with dizziness, which creates a fall risk. Vomiting can create a hydration need. Our caregivers are trained to deal with these side effects and more.
Caring for the Cancer Patient
Sometimes the hospital setting can contribute to feelings of isolation, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. On the other hand, the home offers an atmosphere of comfort and security and allows patients to stay connected with family and friends. Nevertheless, this situation can create challenges for the patient and the family members.
Let Assisting Hands® Home Care help you
At Assisting Hands® we believe in using a team approach that includes coordination with doctors, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, family members, and others. Our quality Caregivers are trained to provide patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of their cancer treatment. Our goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
For more answers to your questions, please give us a call directly at (781) 400-8880 and we will be happy to help!