March is National Kidney Month, so that means it’s a prime moment to stop and take a look at how your senior’s life and health might be affecting her kidneys. If she already has kidney disease, this is a great time to check in with where she is right now.
Skip Some Vices, if Possible
Smoking is a danger for obvious reasons, but it can seriously impact kidney health, too. If your elderly family member already smokes, talk to her about quitting. Alcohol can also create some problems if your senior’s kidneys are already strained. Reducing some of these habits, even by a little bit, can help a lot more than your senior might expect.
Rest and Sleep Regularly
If your elderly family member isn’t sleeping well, it’s important to get to the root of those issues. Sleep is when your senior’s body is able to repair itself, and no sleep means repairs are not happening. If she’s stressed, then finding out how to alleviate that stress can help. Adding exercise to her daily routine can also help her to sleep, assuming she’s cleared for exercise by her doctor.
Keep Other Health Issues Under Control
Does your senior have other health issues? Believe it or not, those can affect her kidney health. Diabetes, for instance, takes a toll on just about every other organ system. Keeping her blood sugar levels in check can reduce that damage. High blood pressure can also damage kidney health.
Take Medications as Prescribed
It’s important for your senior to take all medications exactly as they’re prescribed. This helps to ensure that they do the least possible damage to her body. All medications carry risks, however, including over-the-counter medications. Talk to her doctor about how much of certain over-the-counter medications she should take, particularly NSAIDS, like ibuprofen.
Talk to Her Doctor about Her Kidney Health
If you and your senior haven’t already talked to her doctor about her kidney health, now is the time. Get a baseline for how well your senior’s kidneys are functioning. It’s a good time to also come up with a plan that helps her kidneys to keep functioning well for a long time to come.
Kidney problems can become very complicated very quickly. If your senior is experiencing kidney issues, it’s a good idea to bring in senior care providers. They can help with daily tasks and they can also help her to handle activities of daily living when she may not feel up for doing much.