Cancer survivors often fear their diseases will return, though it’s difficult to determine how high their risks are. This can vary based on the person, the type of cancer, treatments, and various other factors. However, there are certain healthy lifestyle habits that can reduce your senior loved one’s chance of a cancer recurrence.
Participate in Physical Activity
Many seniors become sedentary after beating cancer for the first time because they’ve undergone tremendous physical and emotional battles, and they often feel it only seems fitting to take some time to relax. However, the National Cancer Institute is now telling older adults this could be a mistake. Getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days a week can reduce the risk of cancer recurrence as much as 40 percent.
If your loved one needs help adopting healthy habits to prevent cancer recurrence, consider hiring a home caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. New Hampshire family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Avoid Processed Meats
The International Agency for Research on Cancer conducted a study on processed meats, such as hot dogs and bacon, that revealed a relationship between their consumption and colorectal, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. The risk of cancer increases when these meats are grilled. While eating the occasional hamburger is likely fine, your loved one should try to limit these foods in his or her diet.
Eat a Plant-Based Diet
A healthy diet is often the first line of defense against almost every form of cancer. A body that isn’t properly fueled cannot fight off cancerous cells and might have a difficult time handling cancer treatments. The Stanford Cancer Institute has been carrying out an ongoing study that’s repeatedly showing a plant-based diet could be a cancer survivor’s best option. This type of diet consists of at least nine full servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Home caregivers can help senior cancer survivors manage their health and prevent additional illnesses. Senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Shed a Few Pounds
Carrying excess weight can affect overall health as well as specific medical conditions a senior has. This includes cancer that has gone into remission as well as benign tumors. A 2014 study published by the American Association for Cancer Research revealed obese seniors have the highest rates of cancer recurrence.
Trade Coffee for Tea
Besides water, there are few beverages as beneficial to a senior’s health as green tea. This particular beverage contains cancer-fighting substances known as polyphenols. These unique compounds prevent recurrences by combating the replication of cancerous cells. Green tea is also rich in antioxidants, which seek out and destroy the free radicals that increase the risk of various forms of cancer.
Use Sun Protection
Skin cancer is common among seniors because aging skin is more vulnerable to the effects of the sun. Those who have had radiation therapy are also at greater risk of developing melanoma. Your loved one should use sunscreen and wear long-sleeved shirts, pants or skirts that cover the legs, and other types of clothing to block most of the sun’s cancer-causing UV rays.
Making healthy lifestyle changes is a great first step in preventing cancer recurrence and staving off many other serious conditions. 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 New Hampshire homecare services. 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. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (603) 471-3004.