In your role as a family caregiver, awareness is one of the most important tools that you can have. This awareness is vital not just for being able to detect issues that your loved one might be facing, but also how you can help them to manage these issues in the way that is right for them. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. During this month, take time to learn more about the potential signs and symptoms of oral cancers so that you can help to make sure that your elderly loved one gets the level of care that they need to manage their condition in accordance with their health, well-being, and wishes for the future.
As with most other forms of cancer, early detection is key to getting your parent on the most effective means of treatment and giving them the best possible benefits. Some of the early signs and symptoms that your aging parent might be suffering from oral cancer include:
- Sores or swelling anywhere in the mouth or along the throat that do not correspond with other health issues
- Thick patches or lumps in the throat or throughout the mouth
- White or red lesions on the lips or in the mouth
- Swelling that makes previously well-fitting dentures uncomfortable
- Loose teeth that are not related to other dental health issues
- Sore throat or hoarseness that is persistent and does not respond to usual treatments
- Feeling as though there is something stuck in the throat or that there is a continuous lump in the throat
- Numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the tongue
- Pain or tenderness in the mouth or on the tongue
- Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw
- Difficulty with speaking
- Pain in one ear that does not correspond with any loss of hearing
These symptoms can relate to other conditions, which makes it extremely important that if you notice any of them you get your loved one to the doctor or dentist as soon as possible so that your parent can get an appropriate diagnosis and get on the course of treatment that is right for them.
If your elderly loved one has recently been diagnosed with cancer, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting senior care for them. A senior home care services provider can be with your elderly parent on a customized schedule that ensures that they always have access to the support, care, encouragement, and assistance that they need when they need it, while also encouraging them to maintain as much independence, autonomy, activity, engagement, and fulfillment as possible as they age in place. This includes devising a highly personalized set of services tailored to not just their specific challenges, limitations, and health condition, but also the wishes that they have regarding their care and lifestyle during this journey. As their family caregiver this can give you a tremendous sense of confidence and peace of mind knowing that they are getting everything that they need and that their wishes are being respected both when you are with them and when you are not.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of senior care in Vero Beach, FL or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Treasure Coast Home Health Care. Call today at 772-872-6983.