When elderly adults are diagnosed with kidney disease, it can quickly cause their lives to be disrupted as they learn to deal with the symptoms of the condition and the side effects of the treatment process, known as dialysis. With kidney disease, aging adults face plenty of health issues and family caregivers must provide the support and care they need to get through it. When it comes to dialysis, however, most family caregivers are not aware of what they can do to provide the best help to elderly loved ones.
A Little About Kidney Disease in Seniors
When the kidneys are diseased, they cannot filter the blood properly, leaving too many toxins behind. Without the kidneys doing their job, seniors can become very sick as the waste builds up and starts to affect the body. There is no medicinal cure for kidney disease, and many seniors are ineligible for a kidney transplant. Dialysis is a treatment that can keep the blood clean and essentially save their lives.
Without treatment, kidney disease can be fatal, so it’s important that aging adults follow their doctor’s orders exactly. This means regular dialysis at a hospital, clinic or special treatment center. Seniors who are dependent on a family caregiver are usually not living independently and therefore cannot make appointments or drive themselves to the treatment location. Aging adults must rely on their family members to get them to dialysis ass often as they need to.
Dialysis and Aging Adults
The doctor will recommend how frequently the aging adult needs to attend a dialysis treatment. Depending on the severity of the kidney disease, doctors could recommend anywhere from a few times per month to several times each week. The process itself takes several hours at a time, as the elderly adult rests on a couch or bed as they are hooked up to specialized equipment. The equipment routes the blood out of the body, filters it, and then returns the cleaned blood to the body.
Side effects of dialysis include fatigue, nausea, muscle cramps, blood clotting issues, possible infections, malnutrition and dry skin. These side effects can be hard to bear in addition to the symptoms of the kidney disease itself. Family caregivers often hire homecare providers to help their aging loved one rest comfortably in their home. Homecare providers are experienced in caring for seniors with physical or cognitive issues. When a professional is looking after their elderly loved one, many family caregivers feel more comfortable than if their loved one was alone.
Dialysis is extremely important for aging adults with kidney disease, but seniors cannot take full advantage of it without the dedication and compassion of their family caregivers and homecare providers. Forming a strong support team is necessary for aging adults to be able to thrive despite a diagnosis of kidney disease and the subsequent dialysis treatments.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Chicago IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.