How Do You Accept When Your Senior Doesn’t Want to be Screened for Cancer?

Preemptive measures such as screenings are a powerful way to take control of your health, and be able to make the best decisions possible about care, management, and treatment of health issues that may arise. As a family caregiver, empowering your parent to make decisions about their health that are right for them is a valuable way to not only help them to live a healthier quality of life, but also to preserve their sense of independence and autonomy, and support their mental and emotional health. It is important to realize, however, that the decisions they make may not always be the ones you would. Especially when it comes to screenings such as for cancer, you may find your parent is not as receptive as you may want them to be. In fact, your senior may not want want to pursue any type of screening or testing to find out if they may be suffering from cancer.

Elder Care in Cascade MI: When a Senior Doesn't Want to be Screened for Cancer

Elder Care in Cascade MI: When a Senior Doesn’t Want to be Screened for Cancer

There are many reasons why your aging parent might not be receptive to the idea of getting screened or tested for cancer. For many elderly adults, the prospect of treatment for cancer is not something they even want to consider. Cancer treatments are intense and often result in sickness that could damage your parent’s quality of life. If they are already dealing with other health problems, or do not expect to live for many more years, this may be something they are not interested in pursuing. Therefore, finding out they have cancer would offer no benefit. Regardless of the reason your parent is uncomfortable with the idea of screening, even if you disagree, it is extremely important for you to be supportive and respectful of their decision.

Use these tips to help you accept when your senior doesn’t want to be screened or tested for cancer:

  • Remind yourself that this is their journey, not yours. Your aging parent is the one facing the possibility of this disease, and it is essential that the decision be the one that is right for them. When they make the decision, it needs to be the one they feel best about.
  • Think about it from their perspective. Rather than considering what you would do in this situation, or thinking about yourself, put yourself in their perspective. Think about their health and what you might do if you were facing the same circumstances. This may change how you look at your parent’s choice.
  • Talk to their doctor. You may not understand why your parent wouldn’t want to “fight”. Consider sitting down with their doctor to talk about their current health, and how cancer treatments might impact them. Understanding the realistic chances of successful treatment, and the negative impact this type of treatment might have can help you to better understand what your parent is thinking. This can also help you to feel more compassionate toward their decision.


Independence is an important concept for everyone, and this includes your elderly loved one. As a family caregiver, you have likely noticed the challenges and limitations your senior may have that keep them from feeling as independent and autonomous as they once did. This can have serious negative consequences for their mental and emotional health, and diminish their quality of life. Starting elder care for your senior can be a way to help boost this sense of independence, and preserve their quality of life. An elderly home care services provider offers a fully customized set of services designed to encourage your senior to take care of their health and well-being, stay safe and comfortable in their own home, and maintain a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, and independent as they can throughout their later years. As a family caregiver, this should give you peace of mind that they are not only managing their health problems, and coping with challenges and limitations, but are also enjoying this chapter of their life in the ways that are right for them.

If you or someone you know needs help with elder care in Cascade, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.



About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.