If your older family member has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, a gradual decline in kidney function over time, it is possible to delay progression of the disease. Slowing the disease down involves making lifestyle changes, like the 5 described below.
#1: Manage Blood Pressure
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that the best way people can protect their kidneys is to keep their blood pressure under control. The only way for an older adult to know if they have high blood pressure is to have it checked. The doctor can determine the target goal that is appropriate for your aging relative. For most people, that’s lower than 140/90 mm Hg. If the senior’s blood pressure is high, they should follow the doctor’s advice for lowering it, including taking prescribed medications and making other lifestyle changes.
#2: Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet can relieve some of the stress on kidneys and help keep them healthier. The doctor may refer your aging relative to a dietician to develop an individualized plan. In general, people with kidney disease should follow these suggestions for a healthy diet:
- Reduce the amount of sodium in the diet.
- Consume ample amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The fiber helps to lower bad cholesterol levels.
- Eat low fat dairy products.
- Eat lean meat, poultry, and fish. Reduce the amount of red meat in the diet.
- Limit fluids if the kidney doctor recommends it.
- Limit protein if recommended.
#3: Take Medications as Directed
It’s important for older adults to take medications according to the directions. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, not following the doctor’s medication plan results in about 125,000 deaths per year.
#4: Control Blood Sugar
If your older family member has diabetes, they should work with their doctor to set and reach blood sugar level goals. This involves monitoring blood sugar, changing dietary habits, and exercising. It may also involve taking medications, like insulin.
#5: Use Elder Care
Elder care can assist older adults to take the necessary steps to keep themselves and their kidneys healthy. An elder care provider can prepare meals that follow guidelines set for kidney care. Elder care providers can also make certain the senior is monitoring their blood pressure and blood sugar as well as taking medications according to directions. Because care for chronic kidney disease involves regular medical care, having elder care can mean that the senior is able to get to their appointments since elder care can offer transportation.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Brazoria, TX please contact the caring staff at Viv Health Care Services today at. (832) 871-4223