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The kidneys are very important organs. They are responsible for filtering waste products from the blood. In addition, they help to regulate blood pressure, play a role in red blood cell production, aid in bone health, and help to balance chemicals in the blood. When they don’t work properly, they have a huge impact on the health of an individual. Unfortunately, around 30 million adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease (CKD). If your aging relative has CKD, understanding the disease can help you to better care for them.

General Information About CKD

CKD is a condition in which a person’s kidneys lose function over time. In its early stages, CKD usually doesn’t have any symptoms. However, when it reaches more advanced stages, fluids, waste products, and excess electrolytes build up in the blood.

There is no cure for CKD, but it can be treated. The goal of CKD treatment is to slow down the rate at which the disease progresses. However, when CKD reaches the end stages, dialysis is required to prevent death.

There are several medical conditions that can lead to the development of CKD, including:

  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Inflammation in certain parts of the kidneys.
  • Polycystic kidney disease.
  • Recurrent kidney infections.

There are also several risk factors that increase the chances of a person developing CKD. Some of the risk factors are:

  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Obesity.
  • Smoking.
  • Family history of kidney disease.
  • Advanced age.

Complications of CKD

When CKD isn’t managed, it can lead to complications, which may affect nearly any part of the body. Some potential complications of CKD are:

  • Retaining fluids, which causes swelling in the body, such as the arms and legs. Doctors may refer to this as edema.
  • High potassium levels, which can interfere with the heart’s function.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Poor bone health, including a higher risk of fractures.
  • Anemia.
  • Harm to the central nervous system.
  • Poor immune system response, which makes the person more likely to contract illnesses.
  • Pericarditis, which is a swelling of the sac that encloses the heart.

If your aging relative has CKD, elder care can help them to manage the disease. An elder care provider can drive them to medical appointments so that a doctor can keep track of the progression of the disease. Elder care can also remind them to take medications as directed. And, if your aging relative’s CKD reaches the advanced stages, an elder care provider can help them to get ready for the appointment and drive them to it.

Sources
https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/basics.html

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/what-is-chronic-kidney-disease

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-kidney-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354521

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING ELDER CARE IN AHWATUKEE, AZ, PLEASE CALL THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE SCOTTSDALE AT (480) 284-7360. WE ARE HERE TO HELP!