Suddenly a Senior
Getting older sneaks up on you. Suddenly you're
a senior facing all that that implies.You may
be experiencing some aches and pains or perhaps
some gray hairs are peeking through an otherwise
perfect crown of black hair but generally you
feel well and are able to live a good, quality
When, though, you are told you have cancer,
your life can change dramatically. For the senior
citizen, a cancer diagnosis brings up multiple
issues. These may include limited finances and
lack of meaningful support due to the death of
friends and family.You may also face social isolation
because there is no one available to do things
with or bring you to scheduled doctor appointments.
In addition, cancer treatment can limit your
ability to function as independently as you may
have before your diagnosis.
Recognizing that older cancer patients face
different circumstances than younger cancer patients,
the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania
Hospital developed a program called Be
the Best You Can Be. Held on May 7, the program
attracted a large number of older cancer patients
who came to learn about community resources,
financial options, medicine interactions and
how to become their own advocates.
lasted from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm and was such a
success that the Joan Karnell Cancer Center plans
to run it again next year. If you're an
older cancer patient currently facing these types
of issues, feel free to call Helen Grosky at
215-829-5954 for information and assistance.
Helen Grosky, MSS, Sarah Kagan
and Marylou Osterman were at The Franklin Institute
for the program, Secrets of Aging. Sarah Kagan,
PhD, RN, CS, AOCN presented the talk “Older Adults and their
Families Coping with Cancer” from the seminar
Being the Best You Can Be.