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How to Care for an Aging Loved One with Late-Onset Lupus

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

Caring for an elderly relative can be challenging at times, particularly if he or she has been diagnosed with a chronic disease. Lupus is an inflammatory disease that develops when the immune system attacks its own tissues, and it typically affects women no older than 44. However, the disease can affect both men and women well into their senior years, and they need special consideration to remain healthy. Following are a few tips for providing high-quality Oakville senior care for an aging loved one who is living with late-onset lupus.

Minimize Sun Exposure

Overexposure to sunlight can trigger the symptoms of lupus. Make sure your loved one always wears sunblock with an SPF of at least 15, and limit his or her time outdoors to the morning or late afternoon. Staying covered up when outside by wearing long-sleeved shirts and sun hats can reduce the risk of exacerbating or triggering lupus symptoms.

Have a Plan for Managing Stress

Much like excess sun exposure, too much stress can make seniors with lupus fall ill. To manage stress, your loved one can practice yoga or mediation, or he or she can even create an indoor garden. Gardening inside can keep your loved one away from harmful UV rays, and can be just as cathartic and relaxing as managing a garden outside. Your loved one can also benefit from receiving help from an Oakville, ON, home caregiver between visits from their family. Assistance with household cleaning, meal preparation, and transportation can help keep stress at bay.

Implement a Diet That Supports the Bones

Osteoporosis is a common secondary problem among elderly people with lupus, and it is important to ensure your loved one’s diet is always providing adequate nutrients. Key minerals for building, strengthening, and preserving the bones can be obtained through regular servings of bone broth. This savory liquid can be used when steaming leafy vegetables or preparing sauces, gravies, and soups. Your loved one can also talk to a doctor about taking calcium and other nutritional supplements in conjunction with his or her prescribed osteoporosis medications.

Encourage Moderate Routine Exercise

Moderate low-impact exercises are great for alleviating stress caused by lupus because they incite the production of potent mood-boosting chemicals. Sign your loved one up for a water aerobics class, schedule early evening or late afternoon walks, or invest in an age and condition-appropriate workout DVD you and your loved one can exercise to at home. Scheduling fitness activities with a social component can also help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety.

Seniors can still live long and productive lives while managing lupus. However, it’s important they have the support they need to remain healthy. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can assist your loved one with exercise, cook healthy meals, provide social stimulation, and help with a wide variety of important daily tasks. For more information on the respite and live-in care Oakville seniors rely on, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 to schedule a free in-home consultation.