5 Ways to Help Older Adults Living with Several Health Issues

By 8  am on

More than one health condition, or comorbidities, can pose a challenge to both senior and caregiver. Seniors who have several health conditions may need to take more medication, have multiple dietary restrictions, and have both physical and psychological deficits. Here are five ways to help your senior loved one manage multiple health conditions. 

1. Work with a Nutritionist

If your loved one has several health conditions, chances are he or she will have multiple nutritional needs. For example, if your loved one has renal disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, he or she may need to consume a low-sodium, low-fat, and low-sugar diet. If you’re apprehensive about meal planning for someone who has multiple health conditions, talk to a nutritionist about developing healthy meal plans your loved one will enjoy. 

If your loved one needs help preparing nutritious meals every day, consider hiring an in-home caregiver. When considering homecare, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

2. Manage Medications

Aging adults with several health conditions may need to take numerous medications, which can be overwhelming for those with memory impairment or other cognitive deficits. To make things easier for your loved one, help with his or her medications. Having to take multiple medications at different times may lead to an overdose or missed medication in a cognitively impaired senior. 

3. Anticipate Care Needs

If one of your loved one’s illnesses causes cognitive deficits such as those associated with dementia, you’ll need to be able to anticipate his or her needs. When people have dementia or other cognitive conditions, they may be unable to make their needs known. Anticipating your loved one’s needs may prevent incontinence accidents as well as falls. Frequently asking if your loved one is hungry, thirsty, too hot, too cold, or in pain can keep him or her safe and comfortable. 

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. Portland families can rely on Align Home Care Services to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly, and we provide mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.

4. Address Pain Issues

Having several health conditions at once can raise the risk of chronic severe pain in seniors. For example, if your loved one has a degenerative bone disease such as osteoporosis coupled with an autoimmune disorder such as multiple sclerosis, he or she may experience extreme pain. Make sure your loved one takes pain medication as prescribed, and if he or she develops new pain, make an appointment with the doctor. Untreated pain can exacerbate existing health conditions such as high blood pressure and may even cause blood glucose levels to rise in diabetics. 

5. Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle

Many health conditions can be managed simply by making healthy lifestyle choices. For example, if your loved one has several health conditions, such as arthritis, obesity, and high blood pressure, losing weight can reduce arthritis-related joint pain and lower blood pressure. Also, by adopting a healthier lifestyle through weight loss, smoking cessation, and limiting alcohol consumption, your loved one can reduce the risk of disease-related complications and maintain independence. 

If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Portland, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Align Home Care Services, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. Call us today to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.

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