If your aging mom has been looking forward to more pleasant weather, she’s not alone. People of all ages enjoy getting outside during the spring and summer months after being cooped up all winter. However, that warm weather often means seasonal allergies, too. If your elderly mom is suffering from a “spring cold,” she may have seasonal allergies. Your mother will be depending on you to get her the help she needs to avoid health complications from this chronic condition.
Help Seniors Get a Diagnosis
Seasonal allergies may start up in someone that hasn’t every had a problem before. It often happen in the elderly because their immune system weakens with age. While before, their bodies were able to resist tree and flower pollen, now it reacts negatively. Sneezing, coughing, fatigue, runny nose, itchy eyes and throat and fever are common symptoms that mimic other illnesses, too. Elderly adults need to see a doctor for a diagnosis.
Too many family caregivers are quick to just give their elderly parent antihistamines to take care of seasonal allergies. However, antihistamines can do more harm than help when it comes to elderly health. Besides triggering higher blood pressure and causing dizziness, antihistamines can negatively interact with other medications an elderly person may be taking. Don’t give your aging mom any medicine, herbal or otherwise, for allergies without approval from a doctor.
How You Can Reduce Pollen Exposure
The good news is that there are may things you can do to reduce your elderly mother’s exposure to the pollen that triggers her allergies. The first thing to do is find out the pollen counts on any given day. Weather stations, apps and even the local news will report whether pollen is high or low. On high days, consider keeping your mother indoors with all the doors and windows closed. If she must go out, your or the senior care assistant should put her in sunglasses and a brimmed hat, if possible.
It’s important that you and the senior care aide keep pollen outside where it belongs and don’t inadvertently bring it into the house. This means leaving shoes, jackets, hats and other outerwear near the entry of the house. Always wash hands when you come in from outdoors. Senior care aides should also make sure any visitors do the same. Don’t hang laundry out to dry as that can collect pollen and bring it inside. Senior care aides can also vacuum and dust regularly. If you can, replace vacuum filters and furnace filters with HEPA ones.
It’s hard to watch your aging mom suffer with seasonal allergies, but you can do a lot to make sure she is as comfortable and safe as possible. Under a doctor’s supervision, you and her senior care aide can enact a plan to keep her away from high doses of pollen. Your mother will certainly appreciate the efforts you make to get her through allergy season.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in North Chicago, IL, please call the caring staff at A-Abiding Care today. Serving North and Northwest Chicago and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Call 847-698-1400.