02 Mar Maintaining Kidney Health in Seniors
For many seniors today, much emphasis is put on heart health and maybe even managing diabetes. It’s easy to overlook or neglect the kidneys until they aren’t working properly. Our kidneys play an important role in keeping us healthy.
What Your Kidneys Do
We have two kidneys, located just beneath the rib cage. These bean-shaped organs are about the size of a fist. Kidneys work hard to reduce wastes and extra fluid in the body. The cells in our body naturally produce acid, which the kidneys help get rid of. As the kidneys filter out these wastes and extra water, they create urine.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Over time, a person’s kidneys may not work they should. The kidneys will no longer filter wastes efficiently. This is called Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Around 30 million adults have CKD. Many may not know it. Several factors increase a person’s risk of CKD:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Family history of CKD
If you have any of these risk factors, ask your doctor about testing for CKD.
In-Home Care for Chronic Kidney Disease
A CKD diagnosis does not necessarily mean dialysis or a transplant is needed. There are many steps seniors can take to slow the progression of CKD and keep their kidneys working their healthiest. Many of these steps will benefit a senior’s overall health, not just their kidneys.
- Manage other chronic health conditions
- Eat low sodium, low sugar diet
- Exercise most days, for at least 30 minutes or as tolerated
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Stop using tobacco products
- Lower alcohol consumption, one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
- Monitor NSAID use. Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen can damage the kidneys. If chronic pain is a problem, talk to your loved one’s doctor about other pain relief options.
How Family Tree In-Home Care Can Help
In-home care allows your loved one to stay where they’re most comfortable—right at home. Our Professional Caregivers and Private Nurses are trained to care for people with CKD. They can help your loved one plan and stick to a kidney-friendly routine at home. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please contact us.