Although kidney disease can develop at any age, it’s more common among seniors, and it can be more difficult to handle alongside other health conditions. When providing care for your senior loved one, make sure to take measures to keep his or her kidneys healthy. Here are a few tips to prevent kidney disease.
1. Reduce Salt Intake
Many seniors don’t realize just how much sodium they’re consuming on a daily basis. In addition to raising blood pressure, a diet high in sodium can also increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Although kidney stones aren’t directly responsible for kidney disease, the irritation they cause can increase the risk of kidney failure.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Huntsville, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
2. Manage Diabetes
Kidney disease is often referred to as a secondary disease because it’s often the direct result of other conditions, such as diabetes. Untreated diabetes can put an incredible amount of strain on your loved one’s organs, including the kidneys. Approximately one in four seniors currently have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, which makes it one of the most common preventable medical conditions in the senior population.
3. Drink More Water
The primary purpose of the kidneys is to filter toxins out of the blood and then expel those toxins through urination. Those who fail to drink enough water every day may not be able to remove some toxins from their kidneys. Over time, this can drastically increase the risk of developing kidney stones as well as kidney disease.
An experienced, highly trained professional caregiver may be able to identify symptoms of poor kidney function earlier than you or your loved one can. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide senior home care, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years.
4. Limit Alcohol & Caffeine
The liquids your loved one consumes will eventually pass through his or her kidneys. Options such as fresh juice and water are easy to filter and can promote kidney function, but caffeinated and alcoholic drinks can damage these organs over time. Alcoholic and caffeinated drinks are fine in moderation, but water should always be your loved one’s beverage of choice.
5. Find Alternatives to Painkillers
Certain medications can cause kidney problems if people take them too often or for too long. As with the beverages your loved one consumes, almost any medication taken orally will eventually need to be filtered by the kidneys. Seniors who take prescription or over-the-counter painkillers should speak with their doctors about protecting their kidneys, and alternative pain management techniques should be used whenever possible to prevent overworking the kidneys.
6. Promptly Address Urinary Tract Infections
If a urinary tract infection (UTI) spreads up the urethra, it can make its way to the kidneys. The ensuing kidney infection has the potential to cause long-term damage, so it’s essential to address a UTI as quickly as possible. If your loved one has cloudy urine, burning sensations during urination, or pain in the lower back and abdomen, he or she should see a doctor immediately. Antibiotic therapy can eliminate the infection before it reaches the kidneys.
Kidney disease is one of many conditions seniors need to be aware of so they can make lifestyle choices that promote optimal health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Huntsville families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call (256) 716-9940 today.