We’re all familiar with what it feels like to be tired. After a hard day’s work, you’re exhausted, but you know that climbing into bed and sleeping well will leave you feeling better in the morning. Fatigue is different, though. When an older adult has cancer, they might experience cancer-related fatigue or CRF. Fatigue is one of the most common side effects of cancer treatment.
Cause of CRF …
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes CRF. It could be caused by the disease itself, or it might be caused by the treatments used for cancer, such as chemotherapy, radiation, or a bone marrow transplant.
Other things that might contribute to CRF are:
-Poor nutrition as a result of side effects like nausea, mouth sores, and vomiting.
Signs to Watch For…
If you notice any of the following sides in your parent, talk to their doctor about possible treatments for CRF:
-A tired feeling that doesn’t get better or becomes more severe.
-Feelings of tiredness are not related to an activity.
-A lack of energy.
-Feelings of weakness.
-Being too tired to perform regular activities.
-Staying in bed for longer than 24 hours.
-Signs of sadness, depression, or irritability.
Many times, doctors and nurses don’t address CRF without being asked, so it’s important for seniors or their family caregivers to inform their medical team if CRF occurs. When they know about fatigue, doctors and nurses can help seniors to find ways to fight it.
Managing CRF …
Once doctors know that your parent is experiencing fatigue, they can look for the underlying cause of the problem and try to treat it. They might also be able to suggest ways to manage fatigue at home. One of the things that might help is to try to conserve energy.
Some suggestions for conserving energy are:
-Plan and organize activities to minimize the amount of movement needed. Gather items in one convenient area for the beginning.
-Remind your parent to rest before they get tired.
-Have your parent sit in chairs that have good support.
-Rearrange where items are stored to reduce reaching and bending.
Hiring an elder care provider to care for your parent in their home can help with fatigue. Elderly care providers can allow your parent to conserve energy by taking over some of the necessary day to day tasks, like housecleaning, cooking, and laundry. An elder care provider can allow your parent to rest while they field phone calls and visitors. Elderly care providers can also bring your parent things, like drinks or the television remote, so that they do not have to get up so often.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in West Covina, CA, please talk to the caring staff at Penny Lane Senior Care. Call today: (626) 335-9333
Brittany is the intake coordinator for Penny Lane Senior Care. She has been with the company for over 1 year.