Allergies And Aging: What Seniors Should Know

If you’re the adult child of a senior citizen, you’re probably already doing all you can to encourage healthy aging habits in your parent. From making healthy eating easier by helping to prepare and source organic meals to getting your senior to partake in active, engaging activities to researching some of the best options for senior care service in concord nc, you probably spend a ton of time trying to make your parent’s life easier, healthier, and richer. One of the best ways you can do this is to pay attention to your aging parent when allergy season rolls around. While many adults experience allergy season as an annoying and painful streak of runny noses, watery eyes, and constricted throats, it’s even worse for seniors. Believe it or not, tons of seniors suffer from allergies without even knowing what’s going on. As someone looking out for a vulnerable older person, it’s up to you to keep them informed of the facts. Here are a few things all seniors should be aware of during allergy season.

Many Antihistamines are Too Harsh

If you’re used to popping a few Benadryl the minute allergy season hits, you might not think twice about advising a senior to do the same. But don’t be too hasty when prescribing over-the-counter antihistamines. When it comes to senior health, it’s always a good idea to lay off over-the-counter drugs that come with a long list of side effects until you consult with a doctor about it. Many seniors are already on a ton of drugs for pre-existing conditions, so there’s an even higher chance that a harmless-seeming drugstore allergy remedy can end up seriously backfiring. Always check with your senior’s doctor or nurse before picking up some allergy meds, and don’t assume that just because they haven’t had a reaction in the past means that any drugstore medication is automatically safe.

Natural Solutions Can Help

In addition to trying to keep the house totally free and clear of allergens, it’s always a good idea to try a few natural remedies as well. Making your home allergen-proof can be as simple as installing a High Efficiency Particulate Air filter in your AC to clear out all those pollen particles that are bound to come in during the summer, as well as opting for a natural fiber rug that can trap allergens in its strands to decrease the number of airborne irritants in the home. You can also make sure you clean the filters on your AC and dryer regularly and stop using potentially irritating chemicals such as traditional fabric softeners and chemical cleaners. These may not prevent an allergic reaction, but they can certainly make for cleaner air and a mostly irritant-free household. In addition to all this, encourage your loved one to bulk up on natural remedies like tea with hot water and lemon to soothe any throat dryness and to take garlic supplements to keep the immune system strong.

The Signs Aren’t Always Clear

Because older individuals are more likely to be dealing with increased sensitivity to the outside world, as well as juggling a number of other ailments, you might not be able to immediately notice the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction. You might be used to seeing your senior with watery eyes and a cough, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore these symptoms if they persist after a week or so. Keeping an eye on your senior’s health is crucial for increasing their longevity and addressing any lingering health issues before they become a full-fledged problem. Going for regular checkups is always a good idea, and hiring a licensed nurse as an in-home carer for your parent can help take the burden of responsibility off you if you’re not always able to check in on your parent. A nurse will be able to check vitals, keep tabs on medication, and escort your senior to the doctor in the event of an emergency.

Doctors Should Always Be Notified

If you notice that something’s up with your senior, it’s up to you to inform your family doctor. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that a runny nose or watery eyes aren’t a big deal. Protecting your aging parent is easier to do when you keep your eyes open for even the most subtle changes and allow medical professionals to do the best, most thorough job they can do at all times. If your senior is fairly independent, you should still make sure they get to the doctor’s office for at least a bi-weekly checkup. Don’t ignore any symptoms and assume they’ll pass. If you see any signs of irritation or allergies, notify your senior’s medical carer as soon as you can.

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