More than one health condition, or comorbidities, can pose a challenge to both senior and caregiver. Seniors who have several health conditions may need to take more medication, have multiple dietary restrictions, and have both physical and psychological deficits. Here are five ways to help your senior loved one manage multiple health conditions.
1. Work with a Nutritionist
If your loved one has several health conditions, chances are he or she will have multiple nutritional needs. For example, if your loved one has renal disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, he or she may need to consume a low-sodium, low-fat, and low-sugar diet. If you’re apprehensive about meal planning for someone who has multiple health conditions, talk to a nutritionist about developing healthy meal plans your loved one will enjoy.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Boca Raton, FL, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Manage Medications
Aging adults with several health conditions may need to take numerous medications, which can be overwhelming for those with memory impairment or other cognitive deficits. To make things easier for your loved one, help with managing his or her medications. Having to take multiple medications at different times may lead to an overdose or missed medication in a cognitively impaired senior.
3. Anticipate Needs
If one of your loved one’s illnesses causes cognitive deficits such as those associated with dementia, you’ll need to be able to anticipate his or her needs. When people have dementia or other cognitive conditions, they may be unable to make their needs known. Anticipating your loved one’s needs may prevent incontinence accidents as well as falls. Frequently asking if your loved one is hungry, thirsty, too hot, too cold, or in pain, can keep him or her safe and comfortable. If you’re unable to provide around-the-clock monitoring because of work or other family obligations, consider a home caregiver. Many seniors who have multiple health conditions need to be closely monitored so subtle changes in conditions can be reported to their physician as soon as possible.
If you need help monitoring your loved one’s health, consider hiring an in-home caregiver. Boca Raton elder care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
4. Address Pain Issues
Having several health conditions at once can raise the risk for chronic severe pain in seniors. For example, if your loved one has a degenerative bone disease such as osteoporosis coupled with an autoimmune disorder such as multiple sclerosis, he or she may experience extreme pain. Make sure your loved one takes pain medication as prescribed, and if he or she develops new pain, make an appointment with the doctor. Untreated pain can exacerbate existing health conditions such as high blood pressure and may even cause blood glucose levels to rise in diabetics.
5. Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
Many health conditions can be managed simply by adopting healthy lifestyle choices. For example, if your loved one has several health conditions, such as arthritis, obesity, and high blood pressure, losing weight can reduce arthritis-related joint pain and lower blood pressure. Also, by adopting a healthier lifestyle through weight loss, smoking cessation, and limiting alcohol consumption, your loved one can reduce the risk for disease-related complications and maintain independence.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Boca Raton seniors can depend on. To learn more about our premier in-home care for seniors, give us a call today at (561) 826.9282.