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What Are the Reasons for Reduced Kidney Function in Aging Adults?

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The kidneys are responsible for filtering all the blood in the body as well as removing toxins and excess fluid. There are two kidneys in the body, with one located on each side of the spine in the lower back. When kidney function is impaired, your senior loved one may experience swelling, itchiness, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Poor kidney function can have both acute and chronic causes. Preventing the following causes can keep your loved one healthy and active.

High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of the blood as it’s being pumped throughout the blood vessels in the body. When blood pressure levels are too high, they can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys and reduce their function. The American Heart Association recommends seniors keep their blood pressure levels under 130/80. Your loved one’s doctor can set a goal for an ideal blood pressure level. Reducing salt intake, managing weight, and getting regular exercise can all reduce blood pressure levels. 

Seniors with mobility limitations or other health conditions may find it difficult to prepare nutritious meals or exercise on their own. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Scottsdale seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are hard masses made from crystals that separate from the urine. When a kidney stone becomes lodged in the urinary tract, poor kidney function can result. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of those affected by kidney stones are over the age of 65. Staying hydrated and eating a diet high in fruits with natural citrates, such as oranges and lemons, can prevent kidney stones. If your loved one has symptoms of kidney stones, including nausea, vomiting, severe pain, and blood in the urine, take him or her to the doctor immediately to prevent complications. 

An experienced, highly trained professional caregiver may be able to identify symptoms of poor kidney function earlier than you or your loved one can. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide elder care, Scottsdale, AZ, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years.

Diabetes

If your loved one has been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, he or she is at an increased risk of chronic kidney disease. Diabetes is a chronic condition that prevents the body from either making insulin (type 1) or using it properly (type 2). When food containing carbohydrates is eaten, the sugars in the food can’t be used properly by the body for energy, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugar damages the filtering system in the kidneys. Maintaining regular blood sugar levels with a healthy diet, exercise, medications, and/or insulin can keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent kidney complications.

Severe Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when seniors lose more fluids than they’re able to drink, and it’s a serious concern that can be caused by chronic health conditions, acute illnesses, and some regular medications. Additionally, the “thirst sensation” may be weaker in the elderly than in younger adults. Without this sensation, seniors may forget to drink. When the body becomes dehydrated, the electrolytes become imbalanced and the renal system becomes impaired. Encourage your loved one to fill a water bottle in the morning and sip it throughout the day.

Kidney disease is one of many conditions seniors need to be aware of so they can make lifestyle choices that promote optimal health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional in-home care. Scottsdale families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 480.448.6215 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.