If your aging mom or dad is suddenly sneezing and complaining of a fever and sore throat, you may just write it off as a late season cold. However, it’s more likely that your elderly parent is suffering from seasonal allergies. In the spring and summer, plants and trees blossom and send lots of pollen into the air. In some people, that pollen triggers the body to release antibodies that flood the system that produce allergy symptoms.
Before you run off to the store for some over-the-counter allergy medicine, learn all you can about what elderly people really need when they are hit with seasonal allergies.
Seniors Struggle with Seasonal Allergies
While many people suffer from seasonal allergies, elderly adults may have a harder time dealing with the symptoms as well as finding successful treatment. With age comes a weakened immune system, making it easier to succumb to health complications from seasonal allergies. Often, seniors are also dealing with other chronic conditions.
It’s easy to misdiagnose seasonal allergies in elderly parents when they have many other chronic conditions they are dealing with. Seniors need to see a doctor when they have seasonal allergies so that their health isn’t negatively affected. It’s up to you to get them to the appointment as soon as possible so they can get some relief. If you can’t for some reason, a home care assistant can transport them as needed. You should never ignore seasonal allergies in your aging mom or dad, thinking that it will go away eventually.
Why Antihistamines are Bad for Seniors
Only a doctor should say whether your elderly parent should take an antihistamine for their seasonal allergies. That’s because antihistamines, the drugs that are usually given to treat allergy symptoms, can sometimes do more harm than good for the elderly.
Seniors can have very bad reactions to antihistamines such as dizziness, high blood pressure, dry membranes, and more. Antihistamines may also react badly with other medicines that your elderly mom or dad are already taking. Always listen to the doctor when it comes to treating their seasonal allergies.
How to Minimize Pollen Exposure
You can reduce the amount of pollen your aging parent is exposed to, and you can also inform others who work with them when you aren’t there, such as other family members or home care aides. Always look at the pollen count each day and keep your mom or dad indoors when it is high. If you or the home care aide must take your aging parent outside, they should wear a hat and sunglasses.
Don’t track pollen into the home either, and keep the doors and window shut. Use the dryer instead of hanging laundry outside to dry and stop wearing outside shoes in the house. Home care aides can wash bedding frequently and vacuum and dust often to stay ahead of pollen. These efforts will pay off immensely by cutting your mom or dad’s exposure to pollen.
Spring and summer will always be a battle against seasonal allergies for you and your aging parent, but with a good plan to avoid pollen and lots of input from the doctor, you can make your elderly mom or dad as comfortable as possible.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Lake Forest IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.