Preparing with Your Parent for a Cancer Screening Appointment
March 8, 2016
Senior Care in Saratoga CAThe prospect that your aging loved one might have cancer can be one of the most frightening and stressful experiences that you encounter during your senior care journey with her. This is something that you never wanted to consider as a possibility, and something that you hope that you will never have to deal with. Unfortunately, for nearly 40 percent of the population, cancer will be something that they must contend with at some point in their lives. This statistic is truly staggering, but that does not mean that you cannot help your parent get through her experience with cancer in a way that is as positive, personalized, and low-stress as possible. For many people, the first step in a journey with cancer is preparing for a cancer screening appointment. You might have noticed behaviors or symptoms that are unusual and that could indicate that your parent is coping with a developing case of cancer which led you to setting such an appointment, or your parent's doctor might simply have ordered these tests as a part of her usual routine care. Whatever the circumstances, if your parent is preparing for a cancer screening appointment, she might be dealing with stress, anxiety, and worries that might make it difficult for her to live a high quality of life leading up to the appointment, but that might also compromise the effectiveness of the appointment itself. Fortunately there are ways that you or her senior health care services provider can be there for your aging loved one to help her to get through this stage effective so that you can move on through the rest of your care journey in the way that is right for her regardless of the outcome of the screening. Use these tips to help you offer compassionate and effective senior care as your parent prepares for a cancer screening appointment and then attends such an appointment:
- Talk about the screening. Make sure that your parent understands the screening and what it entails. This means explaining why it is being done, what the doctor is looking for, and how the procedure is performed. If your parent has questions that you cannot answer, make sure that the doctor answers them thoroughly prior to the screening.
- Let her express her emotions. Take some time to step away from all of the clinical aspects of the situation and talk to your parent about how she is feeling about the whole situation. This is the ideal time to share your emotions as well so that you both feel more prepared to handle the screening together. This is also a time for you to reassure her and convince her that she should not be afraid. Being stressed and afraid going into a screening can be extra stress on the body, diminishing her health and wellbeing regardless of the outcome of the screening.
- Make plans. Talk to your parent about how she wants to proceed with each possible outcome of the screening. This is a great time for her to think about her feelings regarding different types of treatments without the emotional burden of the diagnosis. Encourage her also to think about things that she might like to do or change if the screening comes back negative.
- Follow instructions. Make sure that your parent knows what she is supposed to do leading up to the screening and that she follows these instructions exactly. This might be not eating or drinking, drinking a specific substance, or bringing in bodily samples. Follow these instructions properly so that you can feel confident in the effectiveness and accuracy of the test.