Caring in an Aging Society: Elderly Caregivers

Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, RN


July 02, 2012

Case Presentation: Family Caregiving in Lung Cancer

Susan is a 55-year-old Taiwanese woman who resides in California. A long-term smoker, Susan was recently diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Susan's husband died suddenly 1 year ago from a ruptured abdominal aneurysm. Her 2 adult children, living on the East Coast, have demanding jobs and family responsibilities. They will have limited involvement in their mother's care. Susan's mother, Marilyn, resides in a senior living center but has moved in with Susan to become her caregiver as Susan begins chemotherapy and radiation. Marilyn is widowed, 80 years old, and fully independent. She is relatively healthy but has hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, and a history of breast cancer.

The nurse and oncologist discuss a plan for Susan's care.