Warmer weather means a lot of plants and trees start to bloom, turning each neighborhood into a fresh and beautiful landscape.
However, for every person that gets excited for the spring and summer months, there are just as many that dread it thanks to seasonal allergies. Family caregivers should not underestimate how serious seasonal allergies can be for their elderly relatives, both with the symptoms as well as typical treatments.
Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies in Seniors
Seniors can develop seasonal allergies, a negative reaction to pollen in the air, at any age. It’s not uncommon for people to suddenly get allergies even if they’ve never had them before, so family caregivers should always be on the alert for symptoms. The most common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, fever, fatigue, headaches, stuffy nose, and insomnia. Since many of these symptoms can indicate several different conditions, family caregivers and home care aides may not recognize them as seasonal allergies.
Allergy Medications and Elderly Adults
It may seem like an easy solution to just run to the drugstore and grab some over-the-counter antihistamine for an aging relative that struggles with allergies. However, that could be one of the worst things for a senior. Antihistamines can raise blood pressure and worsen existing health problems, like pulmonary conditions and cardiovascular issues. It can also interfere with current medications the senior is taking. Unfortunately, leaving an elderly person without any treatment is also unwise. It’s critical that family caregivers get their aging relative to a doctor so they can look at all the treatment options.
Ways to Help Minimize Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
Anyone who takes care of an elderly person—family caregivers, home care assistants, friends, and neighbors—should work together to minimize the person’s exposure to pollen. It’s wise to keep the windows and doors shut so that pollen doesn’t drift in. Likewise, don’t take clothes outside to hang up and dry as they will collect on the fabric. Family caregivers and home care aides should monitor the local pollen counts and avoid taking the elderly adult outside on the high days.
Other ways that family caregivers and home care aides can watch out for aging adults is to make sure everyone washes their hands when coming in from outside. They should vacuum furniture and floors regularly and keep outerwear like jackets and shoes at the entrance so pollen isn’t tracked indoors. If the elderly person must go outside, they can wear and hat and sunglasses to cut down on exposure to seasonal irritants.
Family caregivers and home care aides should take every precaution when an elderly person struggles with seasonal allergies. With regular treatments from a doctor and common-sense tips to avoid pollen, the aging adult can be happier and healthier despite their allergies.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Highland Park, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare In-Home Care & In- Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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