Roughly one in ten seniors will experience kidney stones, which can cause extreme pain and kidney infections. They’re very uncomfortable, which is why caregivers should help their elderly loved ones avoid getting kidney stones. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to prevent kidney stones by implementing the following advice.
Drink a Lot of Water
Dehydration causes concentrated urine levels that are more likely to form kidney stones. Therefore, it’s absolutely essential that seniors drink enough water. Doctors recommend drinking about two to three quarts of water each day. Other beverages, such as coffee, tea, and juice, may not be helpful in reducing the risk of kidney stones. These drinks might contain ingredients that don’t get filtered out effectively by the urinary system of an elderly person. Furthermore, caffeinated beverages also have diuretic effects that can lead to dehydration.
Avoid Foods High in Oxalates
Calcium oxalates are naturally occurring compounds that often crystallize into kidney stones. Calcium is a mineral found in a wide variety of foods and beverages people consume on a daily basis. Oxalates are compounds that make up most protein derived from animal sources such as red meat and fish fillets. Certain foods contain extremely high oxalate levels, so seniors should avoid eating a lot of beets, spinach, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, chocolate, rhubarb, black tea, and soy. Yogurt, cottage cheese, and sour cream can also increase the risk of these types of kidney stones. To prevent calcium oxalates from accumulating in the kidneys, it’s necessary to significantly reduce the intake of these foods.
Seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions may find it difficult to shop for groceries and prepare nutritious meals on their own. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Rhode Island seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
In addition to causing many other health problems, smoking tobacco influences hormones that directly alter kidney function. If a senior has already had a kidney stone, smoking greatly increases the chances of getting another.
Eat Citrus Fruits
Most nephrologists agree that citric acid is a potent chemical that can break up kidney stones. This acid is naturally found in citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines. Senior citizens who are prone to kidney stones should consume at least two whole citrus fruits each day.
A professional caregiver can ensure your loved one gets the nutrition he or she needs to stay healthy. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide at-home care, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years.
Get the Right Types of Calcium
Though calcium oxalate compounds are a major contributor to kidney stones, low calcium levels also increase the likelihood of kidney stone formation. Calcium supplements may also increase kidney stone risks, but the body still needs a lot of calcium to avoid kidney stones. Seniors should try to get enough calcium through dairy, leafy greens, and other natural calcium sources.
One of the biggest risk factors for people developing kidney stones is holding their bladders for too long, because doing so encourages stone formation. Seniors should urinate whenever they feel the urge to go, even though it may be inconvenient.
Lower Protein Levels
Seniors with a high-protein diet get reduced levels of citrate as a result. Citrate is an important chemical that reduces kidney stone formation. Therefore, seniors should try to eat a balanced diet instead of eating excessive amounts of protein.
Kidney stones are among many conditions seniors need to be aware of so they can make lifestyle choices that promote optimal health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elder care. Rhode Island families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Call Home Care Assistance today at (401) 284-0979 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.