Itching. Hiccupping. Changes in sleep and appetite. These are just several of the seemingly innocuous signs and symptoms that may possibly suggest kidney disease. As there are roughly 20 million Americans alone diagnosed with kidney disease, on top of the many more who have yet to be diagnosed, it is essential that individuals experiencing these symptoms bring them to the attention of the physician.
What Should Family Caregivers Do if Kidney Disease Is Diagnosed?
If kidney disease is diagnosed, as a family caregiver, sharing these guidelines from the National Kidney Center with the person in your care can help them to optimize quality of life:
- Stay in control. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the person with kidney disease to take note of symptoms, keep track of test results and treatments, and manage the disease and day-to-day life choices. As the individual’s caregiver, you can empower them to be conscious of their sense of control.
- Gain education. Power is attained through knowledge, and motivating the person to learn as much as possible about the disease will be helpful towards better managing it.
- Be productive. Both physical and mental health are positively influenced when the person has purposeful work and activities to do. Help the individual you love to stay active by volunteering with a cause of interest.
- Remain healthy. Sticking to a diet that’s approved for kidney disease, participating in physician-approved exercise and taking medications as prescribed are crucial for the person’s health.
- Be proactive. Motivate the person with kidney disease to consider a plan for the future, including different treatment options to consider if their condition should worsen or change.
It’s also important to remember that, as with anyone living with any health condition, it’s imperative to stay socially connected with family and friends who can provide motivation and inspiration. As the individual’s main family caregiver, you play a vital role in supplying necessary camaraderie, meal planning and preparation, personal care services, housekeeping, and the many other ways you improve quality of life. As you’re caring for the person you love, make sure you are also taking plenty of time for self-care, something that is incredibly important but often overlooked by overwhelmed family caregivers.
At Heaven at Home Senior Care, we’re here to partner with family caregivers to ensure the best possible care is provided at all times, while family members take the time they need for their own mental and physical wellbeing. If you need help from a professional caregiver, contact us online or at 940-380-0500 to find out more about how our services can help aging adults in your area.