Anything from the changing of the seasons to a bit of food can cause a reaction for someone who has an allergy. For seniors, allergies can be especially dangerous.
How to Manage Senior Allergies
50 million people in the United States are affected by seasonal allergies. Seniors can be affected by seasonal allergies as well as food, pet, dust, and other types of allergens. As seniors face other challenges associated with aging, it’s essential to help them with allergy management. (Hopkins Medicine)
Tips for Managing Allergies
One senior may have had allergies for years while another is new to allergy management. In either case, it is important that they have help. Some aspects of aging can affect seniors’ abilities to manage their allergies alone. A senior may be dealing with memory loss and need regular medication reminders. Allergies to mold or dust can be difficult for seniors to control if they have trouble maintaining a clean home.
Allergy Management Tips:
- Keep a list of allergens available for caregivers
- Include allergies on medical alert tags or other places emergency personnel might look
- Keep food allergens out of the home, even as meal ingredients for other family members
- Find indoor activities for seniors with seasonal allergies
- Keep windows closed and dry clothes in the dryer – not on a clothesline
- Ask their doctor or pharmacist if allergies and a senior’s medications might conflict
- Keep a list of allergen-free recipes handy for caregivers
- Help them maintain a clean home
- Educate yourself, seniors, and caregivers about what to do if an allergic reaction occurs
How Allergies Affect Seniors
Part of aging is the degeneration of the immune system, organs, and other elements of the body. For seniors, that can mean allergens that once weren’t a big deal now result in a persistent runny nose. Some medications can also exacerbate symptoms. Don’t take senior allergies lightly. Ask doctors how to manage allergies best.
Home Care Tip:
Integrate allergy management into any tracking provided to seniors and their families. For instance, include allergy medication on their daily medication tracker. Add cleaning tasks that prevent dust and mold to task lists.
Contact Caregivers by Whole Care for more great tips. We are happy to help in any way we can.