Call Now to Speak with a Care Manager Speak with a Care Manager Now: (402) 261-5158

Senior Health: Common Gastrointestinal Issues

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

The aging process and underlying health conditions can have a serious impact on the digestive tract, causing gastrointestinal issues. Lincoln live-in caregivers can help their loved ones by better acquainting themselves with common gastrointestinal diseases like the ones below.

Heartburn

Seniors have a higher risk of experiencing heartburn as they age. This condition occurs when acid from the stomach comes back up into the esophagus, which causes an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest. Over-the-counter medications, such as antacids, can relieve these symptoms. Lincoln in-home care providers can also help seniors prevent heartburn by encouraging them to avoid foods that trigger it and refrain from lying down after eating. 

Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers can develop as seniors get older, especially if they have a history of smoking or alcoholism. These ulcers develop when acid creates open sores in the esophagus, which causes burning pain in the abdominal area or chest. Certain medications can relieve peptic ulcer symptoms and seniors can reduce their risk of developing them by managing stress, eating healthy and avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol.

Constipation

Constipation is a common digestive issue that affects the elderly, especially if they don’t drink enough liquids or eat enough fiber in their diet. Certain medications that treat high blood pressure can also increase the risk of constipation. Seniors who are constipated have a hard time passing stool and typically only pass few stools over the course of a week. Caregivers can help prevent constipation among seniors by making sure they eat enough fiber and stay hydrated.

Hemorrhoids

Seniors commonly develop hemorrhoids, especially if they are prone to constipation. These are swollen veins that develop from having to strain while passing stool. Hemorrhoids can cause burning and itching, making bowel movements uncomfortable and even painful for seniors. Topical ointments can relieve pain and itching. Caregivers can also give seniors warm baths to relieve swelling.

To help your loved one manage gastrointestinal and other disease brought on by age, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Lincoln. Not only do we help seniors manage illness and recover from injury in the comfort of home, but we also provide specialized services including Alzheimer’s, dementia, and post-stroke care in Lincoln. Let us help your loved one achieve the health and wellbeing he or she deserves. Call (402) 261-5158 today to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Care Manager.