5 Causes of Poor Kidney Function in Aging Adults

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The kidneys are an essential part of the body’s waste-removal system. They filter liquids, allowing hydrating water to flow throughout the body while waste products are disposed of in the urine. The kidneys are among the organs seniors have the most problems with as they age. Kidney function tends to decrease with age due to these five reasons. 

1. Diabetes

Seniors have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and excessively high blood sugar can cause damage to the kidneys. Heightened levels of blood glucose gradually cause wear and tear on the tiny veins in the kidneys, and without the ability to easily circulate blood through the kidneys, the body cannot rid itself of waste properly. Seniors can lower their risk of developing diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight and not eating excessive amounts of sugar, but if they do get diabetes, they need to take steps to treat it if they don’t want kidney damage. 

2. High Blood Pressure

When blood is constantly pushing against the walls of blood vessels as it moves around, it puts a lot of strain on the blood vessels. Eventually, this can start to damage the kidneys, and some seniors may even end up with kidney disease. Reducing high blood pressure typically relies on a combination of eating healthy, exercising regularly, staying hydrated, and taking medications.

Seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions may find it difficult to prepare nutritious meals or exercise on their own. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Edmonton seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

3. Urinary Tract Infections

If an infection of the urinary tract spreads up the urethra, it can eventually reach the kidneys. The resulting kidney infection could end up doing lasting damage, so it’s important to take it seriously. Seniors who report burning sensations during urination, cloudy urine, or lower back and abdomen pain should visit their doctors. Promptly taking antibiotics can treat the infection before it travels to the kidneys.

An experienced, highly trained professional caregiver may be able to identify symptoms of poor kidney function earlier than you or your loved one can. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide elderly home care, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years.

4. Medication Overuse

Certain medications can cause kidney problems when a person takes too many of them. One of the most common culprits among seniors is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Seniors often see these as harmless over-the-counter medications, so they take them regularly for issues such as arthritis twinges. However, long-term NSAID usage can cause poor kidney function, so seniors should talk to their doctors if they plan on using NSAIDs for more than ten days in a row. 

5. Kidney Stones

Another common cause of kidney damage is the drainage tubes of the kidneys being blocked, which can occur when seniors get kidney stones that keep waste products from properly evacuating the kidneys. Kidney stones occur due to a combination of mineral buildup and a lack of water. Seniors who want to prevent this cause of kidney damage need to drink plenty of water, reduce sodium intake, and get plenty of calcium.

Kidney disease is one of many conditions seniors need to be aware of so they can make lifestyle choices that promote optimal health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional at-home care. Edmonton families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (780) 490-7337 to learn more about our customized care plans.


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