Chronic Kidney Disease affects more than 26 million Americans and is most common among individuals aged 60 and older. Because the disease is known as a “silent killer,” a combined effort by health organizations and medical professionals have deemed the month of March as National Kidney Month to raise awareness, encourage prevention and provide education to help individuals fight and overcome the disease.
If you have an aging parent or loved one who has recently been diagnosed with CKD, you’ll need to become educated about the disease to ensure optimal care, as well as their safety. While care options such as in-home care in Lincoln can help a senior manage activities of daily living, medication reminders and doctor appointments, there are certain steps you’ll need to help your loved one follow to ensure their future health and wellness.
1. Talk to the doctor about:
Normally functioning kidneys remove and filter medications from the body. On the other hand, if the kidneys are not functioning properly, a buildup of medications can occur which can cause your loved one harm. A doctor will be able to tell your loved one if current medication regimens will need to be adjusted or if certain dosages should be changed and medications replaced.
- Blood pressure
High blood pressure can damage the kidneys, and after a diagnosis of CKD, can increase the risk for adverse side effects. By speaking to the doctor about high blood pressure, you can work together to devise a plan to help keep your loved one’s blood pressure levels within an appropriate and safe range.
- Heart disease
Kidney disease is a risk factor for heart disease and vice versa, making it important for seniors and their family to understand the connection between the two. The doctor can provide advice on what to do to keep CKD in check as well as what can be done to lower the risk of heart disease as a result of CKD.
2. Talk to a dietician
While eating healthy and cutting down on sodium is important for all seniors and can help minimize the effects of CKD, a dietician will be able to create a diet plan that is catered to your loved one’s individual needs. With your support or the help of a professional Lincoln caregiver, you can make sure that your loved one follows the recommended diet plan prescribed by their dietician.
3. Talk to a kidney specialist
Most medical professionals and geriatric care specialists recommend that seniors speak to a kidney specialist after their diagnosis. This way, you can ensure that your loved one is doing everything possible to help delay the damaging effects of the disease. In addition, a specialist will be able to speak about treatment options for kidney failure, helping make sure you and your loved one are prepared for possible future outcomes and how to deal with them.
Although this is a difficult time for you and your aging loved one, taking the proper steps now can ensure health and happiness in the future. For more information about care for seniors and older adults, contact the Lincoln live-in care specialists at 402-261-5158. Our Care Managers are available 24/7 and can help you find the right care plan for your aging parent or loved one.