Helpful Tips for Seniors Going Through Dialysis
7 February 2022
Seniors with kidney disease need to go through dialysis treatments to filter their blood on a regular basis. This can be stressful for aging adults and take a toll on their mental and physical health. Although dialysis is a lifesaving treatment, it does require that seniors go to hospitals or dialysis centers to have their blood filtered.
Depending on the condition of their kidneys, seniors may have to receive dialysis treatment multiple times a week or month. This treatment can also lead to unwanted side effects that may make seniors feel poorly. Unfortunately, if these aging seniors have kidneys that cannot filter toxins from the blood properly, dialysis is required to remove these harmful toxins and keep them healthy.
Having a strong support system of family, friends, and caregivers can help seniors going through dialysis cope with difficulties they may encounter. So what are some good tips for coping well with this treatment? Keep reading to learn more.
Prevent Unwanted Physical Side Effects
Dialysis can cause some unwanted changes in the body that can make seniors uncomfortable and unwell. For example, many people complain about their skin feeling dry after dialysis treatment. To combat this, it’s a good idea to ensure skin is moisturized with gentle lotions that don’t irritate the skin.
Seniors may also suffer from camping, and this can be prevented by increasing time spent stretching and walking. Heat pads and activity, in general, can improve muscle pain and circulation in the body. Low blood pressure can be another side effect of dialysis and seniors can reduce their risk by staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water.
Understand Your Treatment Plan
Seniors that are involved and have a good understanding of their dialysis treatment may experience lower levels of fear and anxiety. That’s why asking questions and voicing concerns can be a great idea for seniors looking to take charge of their health. Having care providers and loved ones that are invested in understanding alongside them can also ease the mind and help seniors feel more in control.
Stay on a Consistent Diet
Dialysis patients need to stay consistent with their food and drink intake due to their weakened kidney function. Seniors going through this treatment can do this by consistently following the nutrition plan assigned to them by their care providers.
This can help reduce swelling, weight gain, blood pressure changes, and stress on the heart or lungs due to built-up fluid in the body. Seniors on dialysis should also keep an eye on their fluid intake and levels of potassium, sodium, and phosphorus consumption.
Keep Yourself Comfortable
It’s important for seniors to feel comfortable when undergoing dialysis treatment. Since these sessions have to happen frequently, it’s essential to identify the things that increase comfort and ease the mind. Ask the healthcare professionals at the treatment center to help you with anything that may be making you anxious.
Making friends and becoming familiar with people at the center can make visits feel more familiar and comforting as well. You can also bring your favorite book or another form of entertainment with you to sessions. Seniors can also feel cold when they’re going through dialysis so bringing extra layers of clothing is a good idea.
In conclusion, there are many great ways for seniors to feel more comfortable and at ease when going through dialysis treatment. It may take some adjustment, but taking the time to understand what’s going on can help seniors feel more relaxed and empowered about their sessions. Caregivers and loved ones can also step in and help seniors avoid unwanted physical side effects of dialysis while ensuring they are as comfortable as possible during treatment.
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