Elderly Care in Old Greenwich CT
November 20 through 26 is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Awareness Week. If you are a family caregiver for one of the millions of adults throughout the United States who are suffering from this condition, also known as GERD, it is important that you know everything that you can about how to help them manage it and live a healthy, safe, and comfortable lifestyle as they age in place. One of the most important things that you can do to help them manage this condition is to monitor and modify their diet. There are many foods and beverages that are considered “triggers”, or influences that can make the symptoms of the condition occur or worsen.
Use these dietary guidelines to help your aging parent suffering from GERD:
• Avoid carbonation. The bubbles of carbonation can trigger heartburn and make it worse if it is already there. Avoid carbonated beverages including sodas, soda water, and carbonated juices.
• Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is an irritant that is known to weaken and even damage the lining of the esophagus. Eliminating alcohol completely might not be necessary for your aging parent. If they enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage, ask their doctor if this is safe for them and then pay close attention to their reaction if they do indulge.
• Choose healthy fats. Fat is an essential nutrient, but it is important that you choose the fat that is right for your parent’s body. Avoid saturated and trans fats, both of which are damaging to the heart and can stimulate excessive production of acid. Those are the fats that are generally found in animal products other than fish, margarine, and processed foods. Instead, choose healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These tend to be found in nuts, seeds, and fish.
• Avoid highly acidic foods. Acidic foods only increase the irritation that can be caused by the body’s natural stomach acids. Discourage your parent from eating highly acidic foods such as tomatoes, onions, peppermint, and citrus. Consider starting a food journal and monitoring your parent’s reaction to specific foods to find the ones that bother them so that you can tailor their diet to their tastes and their needs.
If your aging loved one has been suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease or any other health concern or complication, now may be the perfect time for you to consider starting elder care for them. Having an elderly home care services provider in the home with them is the ideal way to supplement the care that you already give your senior so that they are better able to understand their condition, how they can manage it, and how they need to work with their doctor to comply with guidelines and prescriptions to keep themselves as healthy and comfortable as possible. When it comes to managing GERD through diet, this can include providing your aging loved one with safe and reliable transportation to the grocery store and assistance to choose the foods that are right for their needs, guide them on the types of snacks and meals that they should enjoy according to the guidelines presented to them by their doctor, and even get into the kitchen with them to help with meal and snack preparation.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Old Greenwich, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.