March is recognized as National Kidney Month and with this year’s campaign focused on “Chronic Kidney Disease and Aging,” we thought it was only fitting to provide our readers with information on kidney health and the importance of regular screenings for seniors and older adults.
Unfortunately, people generally don’t appreciate their health until they lose it; likewise, the kidneys are not an organ that most people think about until they begin to have problems. While some problems can become apparent at a relatively early age – for individuals with risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) such as high blood pressure and diabetes – the onset of CKD is more likely to happen later in life as a cumulative effect of unhealthy habits and untreated chronic conditions.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, over 26 million Americans have CKD. That’s over 10 percent of adults! Many of these individuals are experiencing kidney failure as a result of advanced diabetes, however many others develop CKD for less obvious reasons. One of these is high blood pressure. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, regular blood pressure checks and adherence to your physician-prescribed medication regimen are crucial not only for prevention of heart attacks and stroke, but also to prevent long-term declines in kidney health. If you have an aging parent or loved one who is recently recovering from a stroke, learn more about stroke care in New Hampshire and what can be done about reducing the risk for stroke recurrence and side effects such as CKD.
Regular kidney function screenings are strongly encouraged for all seniors so that they can take steps to reverse any signs of kidney disease before it is too late. Tests such as a basic urinalysis to check for protein and blood cells in the urine, as well as the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) test, can show patients and their doctors how well the kidneys are functioning and pinpoint any potential causes of abnormal test results.
As with any other preventable condition, seniors are advised to look after their overall health in order to prevent CKD. Simple preventive measures include getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and avoiding or limiting use of alcohol and tobacco products, which are all part of New Hampshire Home Care Assistance’s revolutionary Balanced Care Method™. By taking charge of their health and empowering themselves with information about CKD signs, symptoms, treatment and prevention, most seniors can expect to live long, healthy lives that are free of complications from CKD.
For more information about kidney disease, coping with ailments as a senior or for more about home care services nearest you, contact the New Hampshire live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance. Call 603-471-3004 to speak with a devoted Care Manager to request additional information and schedule your complimentary, no obligation consultation.