When patients are receiving chemotherapy, there is a wide range of side effects that can occur. Because chemotherapy drugs are so toxic, the treatments come with a number of risks that can occur in the home after each course of treatment.
Staying Free From Infections
One of the most common complications of receiving chemotherapy is the risk of infections that can set in after treatments. Because these treatments depress the immune system, the risk of common germs becomes much more dangerous. To keep the patient as free from infection risks as possible:
- Wash your hands often. This is especially important in the bathroom and kitchen.
- Limit the number of visitors. One thing is predictable about people- they have germs. They may not even know they are sick yet, but they can still infect the patient.
- Wipe down items that you bring into the home. You never know who’s been touching those items in the store. That goes double for produce.
Fall Risks in the Home
Feeling weak and dizzy are common side effects that patients can feel. These may go on for weeks or longer, and this puts patients at risk for falls at home. For many patients, it is difficult to have constant help with moving and traveling to the bathroom and other parts of the house. And to be honest, many patients don’t want that kind of help. Getting into and out of the bathroom can be particularly problematic. Patients want their privacy, but the danger of falls is always there.
It can be difficult to know when a dizzy spell will take hold, and this makes the danger of falls even worse. Even if you begin a task feeling fine, you never know when you could begin to feel poorly and fall unexpectedly.
This makes a personal alarm a helpful way to stay safer at home. A personal alarm can alert other people in the household if you happen to fall. Depending on the type, it may need the patient to activate it by pushing an alarm button. Other types sound an alarm when your position changes rapidly as happens in a fall.
Here are a few other ways you can help prevent falls at home for chemotherapy patients:
- Create clear paths that are wide and free from furniture and debris. Keep them clear to allow the patient plenty of room to travel around the home.
- Install handrails in areas like bathrooms and hallways.
- Install ramps in areas that have a step or three in order to prevent unsteadiness. This may include the front steps to make it easier to get into the home.
- Ask the patient regularly about any feelings of dizziness or weakness. If these feelings are present, provide additional assistance.
For patients who are undergoing these treatments, the more security, the better. Getting more automated devices in the home, such as intrusion detection and home automation devices, makes it easier for patients to stay safe and be comfortable in the home. If you’re interested in monitored home security, get a free quote from Protect America.