If your older family member has been diagnosed with cancer and will begin chemotherapy treatment soon, you may be concerned about side effects and how to deal with them. The first thing you should do is to speak with the doctor about the kinds of side effects they might experience with the kinds of chemotherapy drugs being used. The doctor may be able to offer treatments for certain side effects. In addition to following the doctor’s suggestions, there are other ways seniors can deal with chemotherapy side effects naturally. Below are some common side effects and natural remedies that can help.


Certain kinds of chemotherapy drugs can cause nausea and vomiting. This side effect can happen anywhere from just a few minutes after treatment starts to more than 24 hours after treatment. Studies have indicated that ginger may be effective in relieving nausea due to chemotherapy. Try offering the older adult a cup of ginger tea. Some other things that may help are:

  • Eating many small meals instead of three big ones.
  • Drinking liquids an hour before eating or an hour after, but not while eating.
  • Avoid foods with strong aromas.

Elderly care providers can prepare cups of ginger tea as well as making meals and snacks that are easy to digest. In addition, having an elderly care provider cook for the senior can prevent them from smelling foods as they are cooking, which can trigger nausea.

Mouth Sores

Some chemotherapy drugs can cause damage to the cells that line the mouth. This can result in uncomfortable mouth sores. Some natural ways to manage mouth sores are:

  • Honey: Some studies indicate that applying honey to mouth sores can help them to heal more quickly and may even prevent them from occurring.
  • Vitamin E: Topical vitamin E is also effective in managing mouth sores.

An elderly care provider can assist the senior with applying honey or vitamin E to the insides of their cheeks. Because honey can cause cavities, an elderly care provider can also help the older adult to brush their teeth or use a fluoride rinse regularly.


Many people undergoing chemotherapy experience fatigue. Seniors may need to rest more often. They should also eat a healthy diet, which can help to increase their energy levels. Exercise has also been proven to boost energy.

Even while taking steps to deal with fatigue, your older family member may still need help doing things that they simply feel too tired to do. Elderly care providers can allow your loved one to rest while they assist with things like cleaning, cooking, and laundry.


If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in Yarmuth, ME, please contact the caring staff at CareTree Healthcare today. Call today! 207-899-0774.