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What Caregivers and Seniors Need to Know About Kidney Disease

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on

March is National Kidney Month and to honor it, Home Care Assistance of Placer County, CA wants to shed some light on a health concern most seniors and caregivers don’t talk about.

What is Kidney Disease

The kidneys are the body’s filtration system. When a senior has kidney disease, their kidneys can no longer eliminate impurities and waste, or balance fluids like excess water as efficiently as before.

Risks

People who have diabetes are at an increased risk for kidney disease, as are seniors with high blood pressure. In fact, those are the two leading causes of kidney disease. The chance of developing kidney disease also increases if someone in the family has or had kidney failure.

Symptoms

Although kidney disease does not produce any symptoms in its earliest stage, symptoms associated with a decline in kidney performance may manifest. Experienced Placer County caregivers should watch out for signs of lethargy, confusion, itchy skin, insomnia, a drop in weight, chest discomfort, trouble breathing, loss of appetite, upset stomach, or a change in urination.

Prevention

A healthy diet and regular exercise, which can prevent diabetes and high blood pressure, are the number one defense against kidney disease. Also, periodic blood and urine tests at the physician’s office can help detect abnormalities in glucose and protein levels.

Treatment

In the early stages of kidney disease, changes to lifestyle and diet can help, along with limiting salt and quitting smoking. Certain blood pressure medications like ACE inhibitors and ARBs can decrease the advancement of kidney disease. Kidney failure resulting from kidney disease may be treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant. It is important that seniors who are 75 years of age or older and experiencing a number of health issues know that dialysis may not help.

Learn more about safeguarding your loved one against kidney disease by contacting Home Care Assistance of Placer County. We can match your senior loved one to one of our kind and qualified caregivers who can promote his or her health and wellbeing. Our live-in and part-time caregivers in Placer County can cook healthy meals, assist with mobility support during exercise, and provide companionship to ward off feelings of loneliness or isolation. Call (916) 226-3737 to schedule your free in-home consultation with one of our friendly Care Managers.

 

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