East Bay CNA from Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

Archives for September 2021

How to Help Someone Manage the Side Effects of Chemotherapy

The side effects of chemotherapy can be better managed with these tips.

If a senior in your care is battling cancer, he or she may be experiencing several troubling side effects of chemotherapy, and you will want to do what you can to help alleviate these symptoms. While simply being there to provide comfort and companionship is, in itself, extremely beneficial, there are additional ways you can help. 

Following are some of the more common side effects that often arise from chemo, and how you can help as a caregiver:

Skin Concerns: A person with cancer is at risk for a number of treatment- and disease-related skin problems. Caregivers can assist with these skin problems by encouraging the senior to use sunscreen, helping to protect the affected areas of skin from trauma, and making sure the skin stays clean and dry. 

Loss of Hair: Caregivers can encourage the senior to look into a wig prior to treatment (to best match natural hair color to the wig), if the person is concerned about hair loss. Hair loss can also be minimized by using baby shampoo, a soft hairbrush, and less frequent hair washing. 

Depression: If you suspect depression in the person in your care, report the concern immediately so that appropriate steps can be taken to help. An appointment with the doctor can also be encouraged so that all medications can be evaluated for depressive side effects. 

Nausea: Feeling nauseous and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy, but can be eased with anti-nausea medications, staying away from greasy or spicy foods, and eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Caregivers can help by preparing light, healthy meals that are more tolerable for the person.

One of the best ways to help as a caregiver is by simply listening. Let the person share feelings, fears, and concerns, and respond in a way that shows you are listening and that you care. Sometimes just giving a hug or holding hands is helpful. Be prepared for the senior to talk about the illness if desired, and always be ready to lend an open and nonjudgmental ear.

Find more cancer care tips from Hillendale Home Care’s experienced and compassionate Pleasant Hill caregivers in the Hillendale Home Care blog. Contact us to learn more about our CNA and HHA school and how to become part of our professional caregiving team.