Tips for Caring for an Elderly Adult Who Is Suffering from IBS
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also known as IBS, is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder in the world with a prevalence of approximately 10 to 15 percent. Each year throughout the United States approximately 12 percent of the total doctor visits are due to IBS. Up to 35 percent of those who are suffering from this disease have what is considered a severe form of the disease, and approximately 60 to 65 percent of those who are living with IBS are women. Regardless of the common nature of this condition, as a family caregiver it is important to recognize the risks that this condition can put on your parent’s health and well-being, as well as their quality of life.
April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month. This is the ideal time for you to learn more about this condition and the care that you can give to your elderly loved one as they are dealing with the impact of this disease. This can help them to reduce the suffering associated with their condition and still maintain the quality of life that they deserve as they age in place.
Use these tips to help you care for an elderly adult who is suffering from IBS:
• Help them understand it. Many people who are dealing with IBS do not even realize that they have it, or may not recognize that it is, in fact, a health condition and not just an “upset stomach” that occurs sometimes. Helping them to understand that they are living with something specific can motivate your parent to make the right choices to care for their body and manage their condition.
• Keep them compliant. If your elderly parent has received a prescription or lifestyle guidelines from their doctor, make sure that they remain compliant with them by offering reminders and support. This means helping them to remember to take their medications when and how they are supposed to, supporting a healthy diet, and encouraging good lifestyle choices that will help them to get the most benefit from these instructions.
• Encourage good sleep. Pain caused by IBS can impact your parent’s sleep. Helping them to create a good sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and developing coping mechanisms can help to reduce this sleep loss, improving their quality of life and even making it easier for them to control their illness.
• Help them relax. Relaxation can help to reduce IBS symptoms or improve your parent’s ability to control these symptoms. Help your parent learn relaxation techniques that will help them to reduce stress and relax.
• Overhaul their diet. Talk to your parent’s doctor about their diet and have them help you to create a nutritional plan that will ensure that your parent gets all of the nutrients that they need while also helping them to manage their IBS effectively.
If your elderly loved one has recently been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, or has been suffering from an increase in symptoms that has made their daily lives more challenging, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can create a highly customized set of services designed specifically to help your senior loved one to manage their condition, handle their personal care and other basic tasks, and pursue a more fulfilling quality of life while also maintaining more independence, activity, and engagement. When it come specifically to their IBS, this care provider can help your parent to understand their condition and the instructions given to them by their doctor. They can then provide support and reminders to help them to remain compliant with their medications, treatments, and other instructions, as well as making better lifestyle choices that will help them to manage their condition and remain healthier, safer, and more comfortable as they age in place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Lodi, CA, call the caring staff at Golden Independence Home Care.
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