5 Tips to Help Your Aging Loved One Manage Crohn’s Disease

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Approximately 1 in every 150 Canadians is living with Crohn’s disease. If your elderly loved one falls into this category, it’s important for him or her to properly manage the condition. The Caledon elderly home care experts at Home Care Assistance offer a few tips that may help.

1. Monitor Bone Density

Crohn’s disease is often treated with corticosteroids. When used for long periods, these medications can decrease bone density and increase the risk for osteoporosis. Seniors on steroid therapy, especially postmenopausal women, should talk to their doctors about regular bone density screenings as well as diet, exercise, and medication regimens that can reduce the likelihood of osteoporosis.

2. Stay Hydrated

The risk of dehydration increases as people age, and the risk is even higher for seniors living with Crohn’s disease. The frequent bouts of diarrhea associated with the disease can deprive the body of valuable fluids. Your loved one should be encouraged to drink extra fluids even when he or she is not experiencing bouts of diarrhea.

3. Be Cautious When Starting New Drugs

Common prescription medications, including those used for high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol, can interact with Crohn’s medications. Some over-the-counter medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, can also exacerbate Crohn’s symptoms. It is important to let your loved one’s healthcare providers know about all medications he or she is taking and to discuss potential interactions and side effects before starting a new medication.

4. Beware of Potential Drug Toxicity

Metabolism, including kidney and liver function, can change with age. As kidney and liver function decrease, drugs can build up in the body and become toxic. It is important for your loved one to follow his or her healthcare provider’s recommendations regarding routine blood tests to monitor kidney and liver function.

5. Modify Treatments

The metabolic changes that come with aging may mean certain medications do not work as well as they did in the beginning of treatment. It may take longer for the body to respond to or break down the medications. If your loved one notices a change in the effectiveness of his or her Crohn’s medications, let his or her doctor know so the appropriate adjustments can be made.

If your loved one needs help maintaining his or her health while managing Crohn’s disease, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide timely medication reminders, drive your loved one to and from medical appointments, and assist with a wide array of daily household tasks. In addition to live-in and respite care, we also offer specialized stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care Caledon, ON, seniors and their families trust. For more information and to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please call one of our qualified Care Managers today at 905-951-8885.