Older adults are often surprised that they can go their entire lives without allergies and then suddenly develop a food allergy. As bizarre as it might sound, this is true and it’s something you and your senior need to learn how to manage.
Talk to Your Senior’s Doctor
Food allergies can present as digestive issues or in other ways. If you’re noticing any unusual symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk to your elderly family member’s doctor. Her doctor can help you to determine what the next best step is. Tests in the doctor’s office may be able to help narrow things down, but there may be some other steps that you and your senior need to take at home.
Determining the Allergy Trigger Is Important
One of the easiest ways to start to learn your senior’s allergy triggers is to start tracking what she’s ingesting. Keeping a food log can help you to start to see correlations between what she’s eating and drinking and how she’s feeling later. Something that her doctor might recommend is that you try an elimination diet with your senior at home. This is where she eats a specific diet for a few days and then gradually adds specific foods back into her diet to see what causes a reaction.
You May Need to Learn How to Use Emergency Medications
If your senior’s allergic responses become severe, especially in the case of anaphylactic reactions, she may need emergency medications kept on hand, just in case. Usually these are injectable epinephrine medications, which act very quickly to treat the allergic response. If your senior can’t take epinephrine or her allergic response requires something different, other medications may be needed.
Letting Others Know about Her Allergy Can Be Urgent
It might be important to let others know about your senior’s allergies, especially if she can’t talk or if she doesn’t remember that she’s now got a serious allergy. Medical alert jewelry can be a very easy way to do this, as can a card that she keeps in her wallet.
Dealing with a brand-new allergy when she’s never had one before can be frustrating for your senior. It might also mean that she needs to learn how to deal with completely different foods than she’s always eaten in the past. Senior care providers can be incredibly helpful with that. They can help with finding recipes she likes and cooking foods for her that meet her new dietary requirements.
If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Sterling, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.
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