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How to Handle a Terminal Diagnosis

Most adult children of seniors receiving care at home are very involved in the lives and health of their aging parents. So when a senior or loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, it can have a ripple effect on the entire family, as well as the senior themselves.

Homecare Sonoma CA - How to Handle a Terminal Diagnosis

Homecare Sonoma CA – How to Handle a Terminal Diagnosis

When a person is given the news that an illness is terminal, often times families can go through a period of shock, where it’s difficult to know what the next steps should be as you grapple with the reality of the new diagnosis and wonder how your lives will change in the coming days, weeks, or months ahead.

Luckily, there are many resources available to help seniors and their families who are facing this journey, and we have a few tips for proceeding in the wake of the diagnosis that we hope will help you to support your senior parent at this very difficult and often uncertain time in your lives.

Support

One of the most important things when dealing with a terminal health diagnosis is to know that you have support and are not alone. There are many groups both online and in person that can help guide you through what your options are and also just to help you with the feelings that you are grappling with. Your senior may feel comfort in knowing that there are others that have received this kind of news and feel better talking about it with people who can understand exactly what they are facing.

Listen to them

Your senior may have difficulties processing this news, especially in the beginning. Some seniors just want to talk about their diagnosis, or their feelings, and that’s okay. Be a shoulder for your senior parent or loved one to lean on, and let them know that you are there to listen to them whenever they need to talk. If your senior is alone at home, consider hiring a compassionate caregiver from a homecare agency to come in as a companion so that they have someone there with them at all times.

Self care for everyone

It is important for your senior but also for yourself to be sure that you are taking time to practice good self-care while you navigate this journey. Whether it’s a massage for you and your senior, a yoga class, a hot bath, or a daily meditation practice, you cannot be the best version of yourself and support your parent in the best way if you are falling apart physically or mentally. Take the time to give your body the rest and relaxation that it needs so that you can be there for your parent during this time.

Hospice

Finally, look into the local options for hospice care in your area. Hospice is a service that provides compassionate care and support for seniors as well as the entire family unit. They can walk you through your options for both physical and mental issues that may come up over time, as well as help you navigate the medical procedures that are often accompanied by a diagnosis such as this.

Rest assured that you are not alone and that there are people that are there to help guide you and your senior through this process and provide the very best homecare services that they deserve.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Homecare Services in Sonoma CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.

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