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Coping After Your Parent Gets a Cancer Diagnosis

Senior Care in Crawfordville FL

When you first got started on your senior care journey with your elderly loved one, there were likely things that you dreaded hearing and worried about each time you went to the doctor. If you areSenior-Care-in-Crawfordville-FL like many family caregivers, one of these issues was likely hearing that your aging parent has cancer. According to statistics, however, approximately 40 percent of the population, both men and women, will eventually receive a diagnosis of cancer. This means that being prepared for the possibility of a cancer diagnosis is critical to creating a senior care approach that is compassionate, supportive, and designed to give your elderly loved one the highest quality of life possible.

If your senior has recently received a cancer diagnosis or you want to be emotionally prepared for the possibility of such a diagnosis, use these tips to help you and your aging parent cope:

  • Give yourself time. Your parent will be experiencing some major emotions when she receives the diagnosis, but you are going to as well. Do not try to push these emotions down or avoid experiencing them so that you can be there for your parent. Give yourself time to work through your emotions and find your own support system so that you can truly be there for your loved one.
  • Stay calm. You do not have to cover up your emotions or pretend that you are not feeling them, but do your best to stay calm. Your reaction will influence your parent’s reaction and staying as calm and controlled as possible will help her to feel more capable of handling the situation. Make an effort to show her that you are there for her and that you are ready to help her through this difficult time.
  • Listen to her. After a cancer diagnosis many people immediately turn all of their attention to the medical team. Rather than listening to what the elder has to say, they think only of what the medical team suggests and tells them. Make an effort not to do this. Be sure that you are always aware of your parent as an individual and not as a cancer patient, and that you are constantly listening to what she has to say, what she is thinking, and what she is feeling. This is the time to make sure that she knows that she is heard and understood.
  • Respect her. Though you are on it with her, this is her journey, not yours, and that means that you need to make sure that you are respectful of her in everything that you do. It truly does not matter what your opinions are regarding her care or her treatment options. What matters is how she feels and what she wants. Of course, if she is willfully refusing to make decisions regarding her care or is going against what she needs to be doing according to the care and treatment plan that she has developed with her doctor, you are responsible for confronting her gently and showing that you love and respect her enough that you want her to live the strongest, healthiest life possible, which means taking initiative to decide how she wants to handle her diagnosis in the way that is right for her.


If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Crawfordville, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.



Jami D. Eddy

Jami Eddy is the Administrator and an owner of Hopewell In-Home Senior Care. She graduated from Florida State University in 2005 with a major in criminology and a minor in psychology. Jami has been with Hopewell for more than 10 years and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the business.