If a senior’s kidneys fail, he or she is likely to develop kidney disease, which has the potential to be fatal. However, there are several ways to reduce the risk of this serious condition, typically by preventing an underlying ailment and making healthy lifestyle changes. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care in Grand Rapids, discusses a few measures your aging loved one can take to prevent kidney disease.
1. Control Diabetes
Diabetes, which affects seniors more than any other age group, is often a precursor to kidney disease. By following a doctor’s instructions, your loved one can control his or her blood sugar levels and protect his or her kidney function as a result. Diabetes can be managed by taking prescribed medications, following a healthy diet, and monitoring glucose levels.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure not only damages the blood vessels, but it can cause serious harm to the kidneys as well. Uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to reduced kidney function and prevent the kidneys from removing waste from the body. By exercising, reducing salt and protein intake, getting adequate sleep, and avoiding hydrogenated oils, your loved one can lower his or her blood pressure levels and help the kidneys function normally.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
Many people begin eating healthier after experiencing kidney failure. However, starting a healthy diet now can help prevent kidney disease. Eating foods high in calcium can help your loved one’s heartbeat stay regular and function normally, and he or she will need to avoid foods that are high in sodium and fat because they can raise blood pressure levels. Avoiding unhealthy foods helps the body produce essential hormones and the cholesterol it needs to maintain nerve function.
4. Get Tested
By having regular urine and blood tests administered by a doctor, your loved one’s kidney function can be monitored. These tests help the doctor determine if your loved one’s diet, medications, and exercising regimen work or if changes need to be made. Some of the tests your loved one can take to monitor the kidneys include:
- Creatinine Test – Measures the amount of waste from muscle activity; when the kidneys do not work properly, the amount of creatinine increases
- Urine Test – Determines if there are excess amounts of glucose, protein, or blood in the urine
- Hemoglobin A1 Test – Indicates the average blood glucose levels over the past 2 to 3 months
Many of the same tactics used to prevent kidney disease can help prevent other serious conditions. If your loved one needs help maintaining a healthy lifestyle, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can prepare nutritious meals, provide transportation to medical appointments, and assist with exercise, and we also provide comprehensive Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care Grand Rapids, MI, seniors can count on. For more information and to schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified Care Managers, call 616-243-0835 today.