Kidneys are one of the most overlooked organs, but they play an important role in maintaining body functions. These organs are responsible for filtering out waste and balancing blood, water, protein, and electrolyte levels. As people age, their kidney function can start to decrease. Seniors can use these seven tips to keep their kidneys in shape.
1. Avoid Salt
Kidneys often work overtime to process the excessively high salt in meals. High sodium levels also lead to high blood pressure that can damage blood vessels in the kidneys. Therefore, seniors should try to avoid salt, which is often found in processed foods. Reducing sodium intake can also boost your loved one’s overall quality of life.
Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in North Coast home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
2. Exercise Often
Simple cardio exercises help seniors maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure, which prevents kidney-related problems. Even a 10-minute walk each day is enough to promote kidney health.
3. Eat Heart-Healthy Foods
Because kidney function is closely related to the circulatory system, a healthy heart keeps the kidneys in optimal condition. Seniors can keep their blood pressure and cholesterol levels within acceptable ranges by eating plenty of whole grains, fresh vegetables, and lean meats.
4. Stop Smoking
Smoking raises blood pressure, which can damage the kidneys. It also affects the healing process, which makes it harder for kidneys to function with age. Therefore, it is important to find smoking cessation aids that work.
Living with a serious health condition 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 home care. North Coast seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
5. Consume Enough Potassium
This important nutrient helps maintain the delicate water and electrolyte balance in the body. Seniors should consider adding spinach, apples, grapes, potatoes, squash, salmon, sweet potatoes, and other potassium-rich foods to their diets.
6. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
The main function of the kidneys is to filter toxins from blood, and excessive alcohol consumption can damage these organs. Having over two drinks a day can spike blood pressure, further harming the kidneys. Doctors recommend people over the age of 65 drink no more than three alcoholic beverages per day and up to seven drinks in a week.
7. Stay Hydrated
Adequate water levels are important for kidney function at all ages, and seniors are particularly at risk of dehydration. Dehydrated kidneys have difficulty filtering out waste products from blood, and insufficient water intake can cause kidney stones. Ageing adults may need between 9 to 13 cups of water each day for optimal kidney functioning. Seniors who cannot drink a lot of water can get fluid from soups, juices, and watery fruits or vegetables.
A recent study published in Neurology suggests impaired kidney function may be an indication of cognitive decline in older adults. Researchers observed that poor kidney health increases the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive health conditions in seniors. If your loved one has kidney-related issues, consult his or her doctor about the possibility of cognitive decline and create a comprehensive dementia care plan. In North Coast, NSW, dementia home care professionals are available around the clock to help seniors with memory-related conditions age in place safely and comfortably. At Home Care Assistance, we understand the needs of seniors with dementia and the unique challenges they face as the disease progresses. To create a customised care plan for your ageing loved one, call us at (02) 6646 3527 today.