Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is extremely common for seniors but it can become incredibly serious if it isn’t properly managed. Home health care providers can make adapting to new lifestyle changes a lot easier and they can also help seniors and family caregivers to learn how to keep CKD under better control.
Adopt a Kidney-friendly Diet
When someone is diagnosed with CKD, one of the first recommendations from their doctor is going to be to adopt a diet that supports the needs of their kidneys. That means focusing on eating in a way that limits sodium, phosphorus, and potassium. The diet also needs to balance nutrients like protein, fat, and carbohydrates in a way that supports overall health. Home health care providers can help seniors to understand their new diet and plan to make eating easier.
It’s essential for people with CKD to remain hydrated because the kidneys need that extra water in order to filter waste and keep the body’s electrolytes in balance. Doctors usually give CKD patients a daily water target to hit in order to stay healthy. If CKD worsens to the point that dialysis is necessary, doctors may recommend that patients restrict fluids.
Stay on Top of Blood Pressure Levels
High blood pressure is damaging to lots of areas of the body, but especially the kidneys. Seniors who have CKD need to monitor blood pressure levels regularly to make sure all is well. Home health care providers can make sure that seniors are taking these measurements properly and also help them to stay on track with medications and lifestyle changes that support healthy blood pressure.
Start an Exercise Program
Exercise helps people with chronic kidney disease to keep their weight within healthy limits. It also helps to boost overall health and reduces stress. Seniors who haven’t been exercising need to clear a new routine with their doctors. It’s also important that they choose something for exercise that is safe for them to do at this stage of health.
Manage Medications Properly
People with CKD may be taking multiple medications to manage their health issues. Keeping up with those medications can be exhausting, especially if there are other factors that make this more difficult. Home health care providers can help seniors to get on a plan that helps them to take their medications properly.
Stop Smoking, if Applicable
Smoking is a huge barrier to health for all people, but it can significantly worsen kidney function and make complications more likely. Quitting smoking is important to do with a plan. Home health care providers can work with seniors to help them stick with plans recommended by their doctors to help them quit smoking.
Find Emotional Support
It’s difficult to deal with a chronic health issue. Seniors who are facing CKD might need some additional help managing their emotions. Home health care providers understand and can help with emotional support. They can also help seniors and family caregivers to find other resources to help with emotional support.
Managing CKD in seniors might require a lot of extra help, especially at first. Home health care providers can do a lot to make living with CKD easier for everyone involved while also prioritizing their patients’ health needs.
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