March is National Kidney Month. Sadly, kidney disease is often called a silent disease because, in the early stages, there are few symptoms. Up to 90% of Americans who have chronic kidney disease don’t realize they have it until the disease is well advanced.

What Increases the Risk of Kidney Disease?

Having certain high-risk factors can make your loved one more likely to develop kidney disease. Diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure all greatly increase her risk of kidney disease developing.

If the kidney disease has progressed, your loved one might begin to develop symptoms that should be reviewed by her doctor as soon as possible to get her back on the path to better health.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Here is a list of the symptoms you might see in your loved one or your senior home care team may call to your attention if they notice them as well. Because many of these symptoms can also be indicative of other health issues, it’s important to have a doctor review them and perform any needed tests to determine the cause.

  • Your loved one is often feeling nauseous or is even to the point of vomiting but without any other ailment going on. If your senior home care provider notices your loved one isn’t eating because her stomach is consistently unsettled, make an appointment for your loved one.
  • With those symptoms, loss of appetite may occur where you don’t see your loved one enjoying the foods she used to enjoy or simply not eating enough at meals. Your senior home care provider may notice she only picks at her meals or leaves more than half of her meal on her plate unfinished.
  • Change in urination patterns. Kidney disease can cause your loved one to urinate more often or it can decrease her ability to urinate. If something just doesn’t feel right, you should get it checked out for her.
  • Repeatedly getting muscle cramps. Your senior may complain about leg cramps more often or have other muscles suddenly cramp up for no reason.
  • Confused or unable to concentrate. Sometimes kidney disease can decrease a person’s cognitive functions, making daily decisions and following directions more difficult than ever. If you see your loved one asking you to repeat your question, or explain something over again, there could be several health issues causing the issue, and checking kidney function would be a good place to start while looking for the cause.
  • Your loved one may notice her feet and ankles are retaining water or swelling up. Her kidneys may not be functioning well by helping her body get rid of excess fluid. Any edema (the swelling due to fluid retention) should be reviewed by her doctor.

What Happens Following a Kidney Disease Diagnosis

If kidney disease is the cause, doctors will help your loved one and you find a path to better health. This may help prevent her from having kidney failure. The sooner the disease is caught, the more that can be done to reduce the risk of irreversible damage.

How Can Senior Home Care Help?

There’s no cure for chronic kidney disease (CKD), but treatment can help relieve the symptoms and stop it getting worse. Under the direction of your parent’s doctor, senior home care can help them manage chronic kidney disease. Improved nutrition, medication management and healthy lifestyle choices can all help reduce the impact. Having the support of senior home care can offer peace of mind for seniors and their family members as they navigate this disease.!

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior home care in St. Louis Park, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

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.


If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in St. Paul, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.