In addition to prescribed medication, there are some easy ways you can help your loved one reduce their allergy symptoms.
Sunny spring weather might look inviting on the outside, but the reality is that it’s often accompanied by allergens. And though many people find their allergies improve with age, that’s not always the case for everyone. Some seniors experience new allergies as they get older, while others may see no change in their existing allergies. In either case, it’s important to understand how to protect your elderly loved ones from the dangers of allergies.
Complications From Allergies in Seniors
Allergies and seniors require a unique approach to diagnosis and treatment. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis because allergies can increase the risk of a stroke in older patients.
Allergy testing for seniors is a common first step in the process. If your loved one has allergies, he or she may need prescription medication to manage the symptoms. It’s vital to get a doctor’s diagnosis and medication recommendation to make sure that the allergy medication won’t interact with other prescriptions. In fact, some studies have linked over-the-counter allergy remedies like Benadryl with an increased risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Along with any medication recommended by your loved one’s doctor, you can do the following to help reduce allergy symptoms in the home.
Clean Air Filters in the Home
Air filters can help trap dust and other allergens from circulating in the air in your home. These air filters are placed within the home’s HVAC system and should be checked and replaced routinely. You can also buy freestanding air purifiers with HEPA filters that can further trap pollutants. Though these machines won’t eliminate all dust and debris, they can significantly reduce the allergens in the air.
Use Essential Oils
Diffusing certain essential oils in the air can help to reduce allergy symptoms in seniors. Lavender has been shown to prevent allergic inflammation, while a blend of sandalwood, frankincense, and Ravensara essential oils has been shown to be effective in treating perennial allergic rhinitis. Eucalyptus and tea tree oil are also recognized as anti-inflammatory oils.
Monitor Pollen Levels
Pollen and seniors can be a dangerous combination if your loved one has been diagnosed with allergies. Check with your local environmental agency to monitor pollen levels in your area. On days with high levels of pollen, you may want to keep your loved one indoors to help them avoid inhaling too many allergens. Save their outings for nice days when pollen counts are low.
Keep a Clean House
Maintaining a clean home can help to keep allergy symptoms at bay. Remove dust from surfaces and furniture. Wash bedding and curtains on a regular basis to eliminate dust that becomes trapped in the fibers. Vacuum furniture upholstery and carpets to reduce contaminants, especially in rooms or areas where your loved one spends a lot of time.
Tailored Home Care caregivers can help provide special care for elderly patients with allergies. Our aides assist with housekeeping, provide essential oil treatments, monitor pollen levels, and ensure your loved one takes their prescription medication to ease their allergies.
For more elderly caregiving insights, head back to our blog.