Each year millions of people throughout the United States suffer foodborne infections, and approximately 3,000 die as a result of these illnesses. These illnesses, caused by pathogens found within food, can be particularly dangerous for elderly adults who have immune systems that are not as strong and effective as those of younger adults. As a family caregiver it is important that you understand the risk of these infections and take the steps to properly care for your elderly loved one should they contract such an illness during their later years.
Use these tips to help you care for an elderly adult who is suffering from a foodborne infection:
• Rest until the symptoms have subsided and they feel strong again
• Encourage them to drink plenty of fluids to help keep their body hydrated and support the elimination of the toxins from the body
• Unless specifically recommended by a doctor, it is generally advisable not to take medications that will prevent diarrhea as this can prevent the dangerous organisms from getting out of the body, causing the infection to linger and potentially leading it to worsen
If your aging parent has been suffering their symptoms for more than two days, get in touch with their doctor as quickly as possible. Should they experience any of the following, get them emergency medical assistance:
• Blood in the stools
• Severe abdominal pain
• Your parent is particularly vulnerable due to other illness, weakened immune system, or other problems
• Difficulty breathing, dry mouth, constipation, or urinary retention that might indicate botulism poisoning. This potentially fatal infection is most commonly found in home-canned tomatoes and green beans
If you have been looking for a way to help your parent achieve and maintain a higher quality of life as they age in place, starting elder care for them may be the ideal choice. An elderly home care services provider can be with your senior on a schedule that is customized to their individual needs so that they are able to not only manage their challenges and limitations in the way that is right for them, but can also pursue a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling as possible throughout your parent’s later years. This care provider can give your parent a wide range of services that is highly personalized to ensure that they are able to live the quality of life that they desire and deserve. This can include providing safe and reliable transportation to where they need and want to go so that they can maintain more activity and independence, assisting with personal care needs, and encouraging your loved one to make healthy lifestyle choices that can protect their health and well-being. When it comes to protecting your senior from foodborne illness, this care provider can support your parent in ensuring that their food is prepared and stored properly, and that expired foods are removed from the kitchen before they can potentially cause an illness.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Mountain View, CA, please contact the caring staff at Bay Area Home Care. Call today 650-938-4031.