Is Your Senior at Risk of Developing Age-related Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a serious and progressive eye disease in which the part of the retina that handles central vision, or the macula, starts to become damaged. When that happens, your senior experiences vision loss and possibly blindness. Working with home care professionals can help your elderly family member to make changes that help to protect her vision and reduce her risk of developing AMD.
Protect Your Senior’s Eyes
Your senior’s eyes always need protection, but they especially need protection when she is concerned about her risk factors for developing AMD. Protect her eyes from cigarette smoke, whether that involves secondhand smoke or firsthand smoke. If she smokes herself, encourage her to quit or at least to cut back. UV rays are another big risk factor for AMD. Look for lenses that offer broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Other ways to protect her eyes from the sun include brimmed hats, visors, and even an umbrella.
Adjust Her Diet a Bit
Your aging family member’s diet matters on every single level, including eye health. If her current diet is a little high in saturated fats, like the fats in red meat, she may have more fatty deposits in her eyes. This can lead to AMD. Choosing foods that are high in antioxidants and other nutrients is important. Opt for plenty of fruits and vegetables, including dark leafy greens. Your elderly family member’s doctor may recommend working with a dietician or a nutritionist. It’s also important to consider solutions like having home care providers doing the cooking for your senior. That helps to relieve some of the pressure and can help her to eat a much healthier diet more easily.
Talk to Her Doctor about Exercise
Another conversation for your senior’s doctor involves exercise. Your elderly family member might not want to talk about it but being more physically active helps to improve her overall health, including her eye health. The key here is to encourage your elderly family member to gradually become more active, preferably in ways that are enjoyable to her so that she doesn’t give up. Finding even a few minutes each day to move more is important. Home care providers can help your senior to remember to take that time every day to get movement in.
Ask Also about Supplements
There may be supplements that your senior’s doctor recommends that she tries, especially if she’s at a high risk of developing AMD. It’s always a good idea to talk to your senior’s doctor about supplements she’s considering taking before she adds them to her routine. Supplements can interfere with medications that your elderly family member may already be prescribed, so it’s important her doctor knows exactly what your elderly family member is taking.
Protecting your senior’s eyesight is just one aspect of protecting her health overall. Work with her doctor and her eye doctor to make sure that you’re aware of all of her risk factors for AMD and other eye illnesses.
If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Plainsboro, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care today. Call (732) 607-8870.
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