Senior Health: Anemia is a health condition where red cell counts are too low.
It can affect your immunities and heart health. The red blood cells carry oxygen to the organs, so anemia has to be addressed. Senior Health is important to keep an eye on if you suspect anemia.
Your mom’s been diagnosed with anemia.
Assuming she’s past menopause, it is an unexpected diagnosis. If she’s still in the midst of menopause, it isn’t as unusual.
If she is anemic, know that upwards of 4 out of 10 older adults do have anemia. Her doctor will walk her through the things that need to be done to address her anemia.
What causes anemia in older women?
Blood loss during your period is one cause, and that’s why doctors will want to know if she’s through menopause. If she has, it can indicate gastrointestinal bleeding and malnutrition. Sometimes, the cause is never discovered. Her doctor will want to rule out underlying health issues first.
What Are the Signs of Anemia?
Your mom may not even realize she’s anemic. The common signs include:
- Feeling tired.
- Pale skin.
- A fast heart rate.
- Having a headache.
- Finding it hard to catch your breath.
As many other things can cause that to happen, she may not even think of it as being anemia.
Most of the time, anemia is diagnosed during a routine blood test. If your mom’s iron levels are low, her doctor will want to run a complete blood panel to check her red cell counts. Once that happens, she’ll likely be asked if she’s had a colonoscopy to look for signs of bleeding that could be causing low iron levels.
How is Anemia Treated?
Her treatment will depend on how severe the anemia is. Expect your mom to start taking prescription iron supplements. When she does, they may increase her risk of constipation and make her feel nauseous for a couple of hours after taking them.
If it’s severe, your mom may need to go in for iron infusions. She’ll need someone with her on those days as common side effects include dizziness, low blood pressure, and nausea. She shouldn’t drive herself.
Her doctor may recommend changing her diet to include iron-rich foods like beef, brown rice, eggs, kidney beans, lamb, oysters, shrimp, and tofu. If she struggles with meal prep, hire a senior home care aide to do it for her. She may find she appreciates having someone eat with her, too.
Arrange services by talking to a senior home care specialist. You’ll discuss prices and services, making it easy to schedule care that’s affordable and meets your mom’s needs.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Elba, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Wiregrass HomeCare today. Call us at 334-539-5900.