As a family caregiver, you likely think about your parent’s health every day.
You understand the risks that they face when it comes to illness and infection, and that as seniors they are at higher risk not only of contracting an illness or infection but also of suffering serious consequences as a result. When it comes to illness you likely think about the danger of the illness itself and the importance of germ control when recovering.
Something you may not think about, but that can pose a very real risk, is blood clots. Deep vein thrombosis, also referred to as DVT, is a condition when a blood clot forms in a vein, most often in the leg, and can lead to long-lasting consequences and even death. Unfortunately, the risk of developing these clots increases any time when a person is not able to move around much or is bedridden, such as when they are ill.
Some tips for preventing DVT while your senior is ill include:
-Know their individual risk factors so that you can discuss these with their doctor. Issues such as family history of clots, personal history of clots, cancer, smoking, being overweight, and other factors increase the chances that your parent will suffer a clot. By knowing these risk factors you can better address them and be vigilant about your parent’s preventative methods
-Talk to their doctor about having your parent wear compression stockings if they are not able to get out of bed during their illness
-Consider having a home care provider with them throughout their recovery to encourage them to move and provide support and assistance to ensure this movement is safe. Movement greatly reduces the risk of developing DVT even if your senior is not able to move as much as usual
-If your parent has been prescribed blood thinners or other such medications, ensure they get medication reminders to help them take them when and how they are meant to in order to maximize the benefits that they can get from these prescriptions
-Even if your parent is not able to get out of bed as they recover, encourage them to engage in exercises such as lifting their legs, rolling their ankles, pressing their toes up and down, and bending and flexing their knees. They should try to move at least every two hours
Being a family caregiver for your aging parent can be one of the most meaningful choices that you make, but it can also be one of the most challenging. You are likely to find yourself feeling stressed and overwhelmed throughout your experience. This can be particularly true if you are in the sandwich generation caring for both your parent and your children, or if your parent struggles with health challenges or limitations. Fortunately, home care can help. A home care provider can step in to fill care gaps, manage care needs that are sensitive or too challenging for you, provide valuable support and assistance, and ensure that your parent has everything that they need when you are not able to be with them. This will give both of you peace of mind and confidence as they see greater independence, fulfillment, and quality of life throughout their later years.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Lake Bluff, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare In-Home Care and Home Health Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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