As people age, their risk of developing cancer may increase. Though cancer isn’t always preventable, seniors and those who care for them can stay educated on ways to reduce the odds. Here are a few tips you and your elderly loved one should keep in mind.
1. Stay Protected from the Sun
Skin cancer is a direct result of sun damage and exposure to ultraviolet light. However, the risk of this type of cancer can be reduced when certain precautions are taken, such as staying indoors during the peak sunburn hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., seeking shade whenever possible, wearing clothes that cover the skin, and using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality homecare services. Toronto families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
2. Stop Smoking
There are 250 harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, and at least 69 of them are known to cause mouth, throat, larynx, and lung cancer. Cigarettes aren’t only dangerous for your loved one if he or she is the one smoking, but breathing secondhand smoke can also increase his or her risk of cancer. Seniors who smoke can reduce their risk by quitting, and those who don’t smoke should never start and avoid being around others who do.
3. Eat Healthier
Studies have shown eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of cancer. Consuming plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans is one of the best ways to combat cancer because many of these foods have bioactive properties with anticancer effects. Seniors who want to keep their diets healthy and balanced may want to consult Canada’s Food Guide for the most nutritious options.
A home caregiver can help your loved one plan and prepare healthy meals. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of senior home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Keeping your loved one’s weight at a healthy level is another way he or she can stave off cancer. Weight management can lower the risk of several different types of cancers, including those of the prostate, colon, and kidneys. Being overweight may be linked to high levels of insulin, which is a contributing factor to cancer.
5. Visit the Doctor Regularly
Regular cancer screenings are recommended for detecting skin, colon, and breast cancers. Doctors can check for any skin abnormalities during exams, colonoscopies should begin at age 50, and senior women should get mammograms every 2 years. Early detection is often the key to stopping cancer before it becomes a serious problem, and many types of cancer can be treated if they’re diagnosed in the beginning stages.
If your loved one needs help adopting healthy habits to stave off cancer and other serious conditions, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Toronto seniors can depend on. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (416) 488-8777 to learn more about our customized care plans.