Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own healthy cells and tissues. Even though the majority of people living with lupus are under age 45, a small percentage of adults develop this disease later in life, and seniors often need additional help managing the condition. Here are 4 tips to help you provide high-quality home care in Victoria for an elderly loved one with late-onset lupus.
1. Prevent Osteoporosis
One of the most common side effects of lupus is osteoporosis, and the medications your loved one takes to treat lupus may cause this secondary condition. It is important to monitor your loved one’s health closely and speak with a doctor to find out if the lupus medications are working or if another form of treatment is necessary. Failing to do so can cause lupus to chip away at the bones even more and block the flow of blood. Your loved one can prevent osteoporosis by exercising, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption.
2. Relieve Stress
Many seniors living with lupus experience depression because of medications or the emotional stress associated with the disease. Stress can lead to memory-related conditions, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, and confusion. When the stress signals in your loved one’s body activate, inflammation occurs. To prevent this type of stress, consider hiring a Victoria home caregiver to help your loved one out around the home, and you should also encourage your loved one to engage in activities approved by his or her doctor. Going to a support group for people with lupus may also help him or her manage stress levels.
3. Discourage Exposure to Excessive Sunlight
Too much exposure to the sun can exacerbate the symptoms associated with lupus. Lupus causes the skin to become sensitive, and being exposed to the sunlight can lead to skin rashes on the nose, cheeks, and other areas of the body. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation may also cause joint pain and fatigue. Limiting your loved one’s exposure to the sun can help keep his or her skin cells from dying and prevent inflammation. Your loved one should also keep his or her skin covered with light clothing when outdoors.
4. Control Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure can be extremely dangerous for seniors with lupus. To prevent hypertension, monitor your loved one’s diet and physical activity. He or she should also stop smoking. Making healthy lifestyle changes can help your loved one maintain a healthy weight, strengthen the cardiovascular system, and prevent joint or muscle pain and inflammation. The number one cause of death among seniors with lupus is heart disease, which is why you should make sure your loved one’s blood pressure stays under control.
Managing serious conditions like lupus can be challenging without assistance. If your loved one needs additional support to maintain healthy habits, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available around the clock to provide medication reminders, assist with physical activity and meal prep, and help with many other daily tasks. To learn more about the respite and live-in home care Victoria, BC, families trust, call (250) 592-4881 today to speak with a qualified Care Manager.