With sunny skies and beautiful flowers, it’s easy to see when warmer weather arrives. However, many elderly people begin to dread that time of year because they suffer greatly from seasonal allergies. Runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throats and sneezing can have a serious effect on the elderly, especially those that struggle with other chronic conditions due to age or illness.When dealing with an elderly relative’s seasonal allergies, it’s important to get all the caregivers on the same page. Home care aides, family members, friends, neighbors and others should learn all they can about seasonal allergies in the elderly, so they are helping, not hurting.
Why Seasonal Allergies are Dangerous for Seniors
Whether its ragweed, tree pollen or some unknown plant, pollen is usually the cause of seasonal allergies. When someone has allergies, their body reacts negatively to the pollen. It can make breathing difficult and the discomfort can be so great that it can affect both their appetite and quality of sleep.
Most people take antihistamine medication for relief from chronic allergies, however this may not be a good idea for aging adults. When an elderly person takes an antihistamine, they can experience high blood pressure and aggravate heart conditions. In many cases, the antihistamine can conflict with other common medications, lessening the effect of both and causing health issues. Family caregivers should only give antihistamines to an aging relative under supervision of a doctor.
How to Help Seniors with Seasonal Allergy Relief
So how can family caregivers and home care aides help an elderly person with seasonal allergies feel better? It takes some effort, but there are plenty of tips and tricks to help an aging relative survive the allergy season. It’s important to understanding that seasonal allergies are triggered by pollen from plants like trees, ragweed, sagebrush, goldenrod and many others. They key to managing seasonal allergies is keeping elderly adults as free from pollen irritation as possible.
Being proactive with pollen exposure is going to make a big difference in how an elderly loved one is affected. Family caregivers and home care aides should keep an eye on the local news and the pollen counts. On high pollen days, seniors should be kept inside as much as possible. They should keep the windows and doors closed and change filters in the air conditioning frequently.
After being outside, everyone from the elderly person to the home care aide, should wash their hands well and leave jackets and other outerwear near the front door to prevent pollen from getting into the house. Even though it is tempting, family caregivers shouldn’t hang clothes out to dry on an outside line because they can pick up pollen, too.
Armed with information and ideas, family caregivers, friends and home care assistants can work together to spare elderly adults from some of the uncomfortable symptoms that arise from seasonal allergies.
For home care in Cherry Hill, NJ, and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.