7 In-Home Care Benefits for Seniors with Anemia
Has a doctor recently told you a senior loved one has anemia? What should you do, or who can you turn to for assistance?
Anemia occurs when sufficient healthy red blood cells are unavailable to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s organs. People with anemia often feel cold, weak, tired, dizzy, or irritable. The most common cause is low levels of iron in the body that can lead to iron-deficiency anemia.
If not treated properly, anemia in seniors can lead to more serious problems.
Anemia Symptoms in Seniors
Although some cases of anemia may be asymptomatic or overshadowed by other health conditions, it can cause older adults to develop numerous symptoms and complications, including:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Pale or yellow skin
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Cold hands and feet
- Increased risk of depression, dementia, and falls
- Decreased mobility
- Decreased quality of life
Anemia is fairly common in older adults. Recent estimates suggest up to 17 percent of Americans over age 60 are anemic.
If you’re concerned a loved one may be showing signs of anemia, consult a physician as soon as possible.
In-Home Care Can Help Manage Anemia Symptoms for Seniors
Managing anemia and its symptoms is vital for retaining a high quality of life. However, seniors and their family members can have difficulties handling anemia on their own, especially when they are focused on other health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The good news is that Visiting Angels’ senior care providers are here to assist. An in-home caregiver can help you better manage symptoms, which can make aging in place safer and improve well-being for elderly adults. Visiting Angels’ in-home caregivers can provide the following services to help your elderly loved one.
- Medication reminders
Seniors may need to take many medications at specific intervals, which could be difficult for them to follow. In-home caregivers can help seniors by reminding them when it is time to take medication or supplements.
- Understanding and following a diet
Many healthcare providers will advise dietary changes, including an increase in iron-rich food, in addition to supplements and medication. In-home caregivers will make sure seniors have the proper food supplies on hand and prepare meals that meet their dietary needs.
- Help around the home
Symptoms of anemia can make completing regular chores, such as meal preparation, laundry, and general cleaning, challenging for some. In-home caregivers can assist with light housekeeping duties, such as cleaning hard-to-reach spaces or meal prep. For older adults with more seriously impaired function, in-home caregivers can also provide personal care assistance, including transferring, toileting, and dressing.
- Transportation and scheduling assistance
Seniors need to make sure they don’t miss doctor appointments or blood tests. An in-home caregiver can help by keeping track of appointments and arranging transportation to and from scheduled appointments.
- Symptom monitoring
A doctor may ask seniors about the frequency of symptoms. An in-home caregiver can keep track of symptoms, especially if seniors experience any memory difficulties. In-home caregivers may also spot worsening symptoms, such as frequent loss of balance or dizziness, and report these to the care team and family.
- Emotional support and socialization
Senior loneliness and depression may increase for older adults with anemia. In-home caregivers can provide elderly companionship to help your loved one feel less lonely and more connected to their community. They can also alert the care team if a senior becomes increasingly isolated or withdrawn.
- Respite care for primary caregivers
Caregiver stress can sneak up on anyone and cause tension in family relationships. In-home caregivers can provide occasional respite care to relieve caregiver stress and help keep family relationships healthy.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with anemia or is experiencing symptoms, consider hiring a Visiting Angels in-home care specialist. Our Visiting Angels care coordinators are available to discuss how our compassionate caregivers can help during a free home care consultation.