GERD might seem like heartburn, but it’s a little more complicated than that. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is common and it can really create havoc in your senior’s digestive tract. Getting some treatment can help her to be more comfortable and avoid bigger health complications later.
Some Medications and Health Issues Complicate GERD
GERD is a big enough problem on its own, but there are some aspects of life that complicate it a little more. Some of your senior’s health issues, like asthma, can make GERD worse. To add insult to injury, some of the medications that your elderly family member takes can also have side effects that affect GERD. Your senior may need to modify how or when she takes certain medications so that she gets the positive benefits without the problems that the medications can create for GERD symptoms.
Food Makes a Difference
What your senior eats always matters, but there are some foods that might be making her GERD symptoms worse. One obvious example is anything that’s high in acid content, like tomatoes or even citrus fruits. Other foods, like fried foods or foods that are really spicy, can also be a problem. Your elderly family member is likely to have a highly individualized experience with food, so you may find that keeping a food diary is really helpful.
There Are Other Factors about Eating, Too
But it’s not just what your senior eats. When she eats can make a big difference to her GERD symptoms, too. If she’s eating and then lying down even an hour or so later, that can cause pressure in her midsection that exacerbates GERD. Planning mealtimes carefully around the rest of your senior’s schedule can help immensely with this problem. Something else to consider is that smaller meals can be a good idea. They are less likely to overwhelm your senior’s stomach after meals.
She May Need to Adjust How She Does Certain Things
There are a lot of the things your elderly family member does on a daily basis that she may need to adjust. For instance, if she tends to sleep on her back, she might be experiencing more GERD symptoms. Lying on her side or using an elevated wedge under her pillow can help her to avoid experiencing reflux. Adjustable beds can also be a good choice.
Lifestyle changes are usually a good way to get a handle on GERD for your senior. As her caregiver, you’re likely going to be the one helping her to troubleshoot. Make sure that you let her doctor know if you’re seeing any marked change in the symptoms she’s experiencing.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Dearborn Heights, MI, or the surrounding area, please contact the caring staff at CareOne Senior Care today. Call us at (248)-308-2777.