Treatment for cancer can cause some difficult side effects, including nausea and vomiting. Nausea is a feeling in the stomach that people describe as queasiness or feeling sick. Vomiting, of course, is when a person throws up food or liquids. Not only are nausea and vomiting uncomfortable, they could lead to dehydration and malnutrition in your aging relative, so it’s important to try to keep them under control. Below are 5 ways to help seniors with cancer to cope with nausea and vomiting.
#1: Take Medication
There are medications that can lessen feelings of nausea. Talk to your aging relative’s health care team to find out when the best time to take anti-nausea medications is. If the medicine doesn’t seem to work, let the doctor know because there are different kinds of medicine and another one might work better.
#2: Offer Hard Candies and Clear Drinks
Hard candies that smell good can help to take away bad tastes in the mouth, which may make seniors not want to eat. However, don’t offer sour candies if the senior has sores in their mouth. Clear liquids, like ginger ale or apple juice, may be easier for the senior to keep down. They should be served cold and sipped slowly. Drinking clear liquids can also prevent dehydration, which may occur more easily if the older adult is vomiting.
#3: Eat a Snack Before Treatment—or Don’t
Some people find that nausea and vomiting are less likely if they eat a little before having treatment. Others find that not eating before or after treatment is better. The point is, try different things to find what works for your loved one and use what you learn to make their next treatment easier.
#4: Be Sensitive to Smells
Some people find that certain smells make them feel nauseated. Even the smell of food cooking can be bothersome. To prevent nausea triggered by smells, someone else should cook for the senior. It can also be helpful to serve cold foods because they tend to have less smell.
#5: Make All Foods as Nutritious as Possible
If the older adult isn’t able to eat much, it’s important to make every bite as nutritious as possible. However, don’t push nutrition without consideration for what the person likes. Their tastes may change during treatment and eating something is better than eating nothing at all.
Home care can be a great asset to seniors going through cancer treatment because they can help to manage nausea and vomiting. Weakness caused by cancer treatment can make getting to the bathroom quickly to vomit dangerous. A home care provider can help them to get safely to the bathroom or bring them a container to vomit into. Home care providers can also bring the senior drinks and snacks when they feel able to eat.
If you or an aging loved one are considering a Home Care in Wilmette, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.
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