As your family member nears the end of her battle with lung cancer, she’s likely to experience a general worsening of her symptoms. She may even start to deal with new symptoms that weren’t a factor for her in the past. Finding the right ways to manage these symptoms is a lot easier with the help of end-of-life care.
One of the surprising aspects of the final stages of lung cancer can be the emotional changes your aging family member experiences. She may seem a bit more withdrawn than ever before or there may be other signs, like irritability. Your senior may find that few things interest her or capture her attention any longer. This is typically because her body is dealing with a lot all at once and may not have the reserves for much else.
More Consistent Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath has likely been a symptom your senior has dealt with throughout her battle with lung cancer. However, in the later stages shortness of breath is much more consistent. It’s possible that your senior constantly feels short of breath even while resting. End-of-life care can help her to find therapies and solutions that relieve some of the discomfort and anxiety associated with shortness of breath.
Fluid Buildup In and Around the Lungs
It is not uncommon at all for people with lung cancer to have significant buildup of fluid in and around the lungs. This contributes to shortness of breath and also causes discomfort. End-of-life care works with your senior’s doctors to help her find the treatments that keep her comfortable and that assist her with breathing difficulties.
Another common symptom of end-stage lung cancer is coughing that is more frequent than it might have been in the past. This is often due to congestion and fluid in the lungs, as well as irritation in the respiratory system. Controlling the coughing can help your family member to be a lot more comfortable and assist her with resting.
Pain is a big problem for people with lung cancer, especially when the pain spreads throughout the body. Your senior may also be in pain from curative therapies that she has tried over the course of her illness. Managing pain effectively may take a variety of therapies, and end-of-life care can help your senior to find the most useful ones for her situation.
Lung cancer and the various treatments for lung cancer all take a huge toll on your family member’s body. As she nears the end of her life, she may find that she’s more fatigued than ever before. She may spend a lot of time asleep and find it difficult to stay awake even when she wants to be more alert.
The major goal with end-of-life care is to ensure that your elderly family member is as comfortable as she can be during this stage of her illness. Managing symptoms is the best way to do that, and there may be more options available than your senior realizes, especially once she leaves curative treatments behind.
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