More than 1,800,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year. According to the National Cancer Institute, almost 40 percent of Americans will become cancer patients. That includes many loved ones in Todt Hill and throughout New York.
We won’t beat around the bush. Cancer treatments can have severe side effects. Nausea is common, which leads to loss of appetite and weight loss. Pain is expected, leading to sleeping problems that cascade into all aspects of a cancer patient’s health. For all these reasons, meticulous medication management is essential for these patients.
Today, the team at David York Agency is here to provide family caregivers with medication management tips for cancer patients.
- Hazardous medications
- Nausea management tips
- The importance of medication timing
- And signs you may need to seek more professional help.
Let’s begin with hazardous meds.
Some Powerful Cancer Medications are Hazardous to Caregivers
Some chemotherapy drugs — Vincristine and Doxorubicin, for instance — are hazardous to healthy people. Therefore, a family caregiver must take additional safety steps.
- Your physician will usually provide a special kit with instructions and materials for spill cleanup and special containers for disposing of hazardous meds.
- Dangerous amounts of these chemicals can be present in bodily fluids like urine, saliva, blood, etc.
- Caregivers should handle bedding, towels, clothing and adult diapers with disposable gloves.
- Wash soiled fabrics separately from other household laundry, and use hot water.
During the first 48 hours after treatment, your loved one should flush the toilet twice after using it. Then, be sure they wash their hands well and clean their body carefully. The toilet water may still contain trace amounts of hazardous chemicals. So keep kids and pets away from the bathroom.
Timing is Everything for Cancer Medication Management
Powerful cancer drugs must be taken at the proper time to be most effective. Furthermore, missed doses or poor timing can even be dangerous!
Try these tips to stay on top of timing:
- Write down the medication schedule, and post a few copies around the home.
- Put them somewhere you’ll look several times a day, like on the refrigerator and a bathroom door.
- Use an alarm clock, cell phone or smartwatch to set timers.
Remember, medication must be taken on time, even if your loved one is feeling nauseous.
Nausea Management Tips for Cancer Patients
Every person is a unique individual and will experience chemo differently. Many people — but not everyone — will experience significant nausea. Even mild nausea can lead to weight loss and diminished energy.
If your loved one suffers from nausea:
- Don’t try to entice them with a favorite food. Per Columbia Surgery Center, this can lead to a negative feeling about that food or food aversion.
- Try smaller meals every few hours.
- Boost calorie intake with nutritious fluids.
- Try ginger and peppermint to reduce nausea.
- Talk to your physician about medications that might ease nausea.
Most of all, don’t get frustrated! Nausea tends to come in waves, and it may settle soon.
Finally, let’s address signs it’s time to get extra help.
Caregiver Burnout is Real
Sometimes family members experience extreme feelings of frustration, guilt, fear or anxiety when caring for a family member during chemo. This is a natural feeling, and you shouldn’t ever feel ashamed of it!
It’s time to find more help if:
- You often struggle to sleep at night.
- Your anxiety is causing nausea, weight loss or overeating.
- You experience mood swings or emotional outbursts aimed at your family member or others.
Help is available. At David York Agency, we offer specialized in-home care for cancer patients. Our specialized caregivers are sensitive to both the needs of the patient and their families.
David York Understands Medication Management for Cancer Patients in Todt Hill
If the above information about medication management for cancer patients has been useful, check out David York Agency’s blog for more articles about specialized care in Todt Hill.
David York Agency understands the challenges of caregiving and is willing to provide all the support you need.
If you’d like more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
David York Agency Home Healthcare remains committed to providing personalized care for your loved one. If you have questions about our services, please contact us. We can help you through the difficult times and give you the break you deserve!