National Kidney Month takes place each March. The kidneys serve an important function in clearing impurities and excess water from the blood. If the kidneys don’t work effectively, it can impact the function of your muscles, nerves, and body tissues. During National Kidney Month, take time to learn these five facts and how senior care can help.
#1 – 37 Million People Have Chronic Kidney Disease
It’s estimated that chronic kidney disease impacts 37 million people in the U.S. It’s a progressive disease that can lead to kidney failure. In its early stages, there are no warning signs. It’s best to undergo testing during a yearly exam to make sure the kidneys are working. A senior care provider can offer transportation to and from a yearly exam appointment.
#2 – Three Things Increase the Risk
High blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes increase the risk of kidney failure. If your parents are diagnosed with any of those, they need to talk to their doctor about testing kidney function.
#3 – Kidney Disease Runs in Families
Many families find that kidney disease runs through the family. If there’s a family history of kidney disease, your parents need to get checked and learn how to prevent kidney disease from affecting them.
#4 – A Simple Blood Test Is All It Takes
A blood test that checks for glomerular filtration is one of the ways to test kidney function. Your parents’ doctors would draw some blood and check it in a lab to see if the kidneys are working effectively to filter blood.
The other option is a urine test that checks for proteins that occur when kidneys are damaged. Some doctors rely on both tests.
#5 – Treatments May Include Diet, Exercise, and Medications – Senior Care Can Help
Depending on your mom or dad’s situation, their treatment plan for chronic kidney disease may involve medications to manage blood sugar levels or blood pressure. Diets that are low in sodium and avoid excess sugars are also recommended.
If obesity is an issue, exercise and a weight loss plan is another goal. Your parent needs to aim for the full 30 minutes or more of moderate activity each day.
When your dad’s health is impacted by worsening kidney function, make sure he’s supported with the care he needs at home. Senior care services can help him with transportation to medical appointments, medication reminders, meal preparation, and help with personal care. Call a senior care agency to schedule services.