Allergies and Aging: What You Need to Know
The transition from winter to spring can be a beautiful time. More animals emerge, the grass turns green, buds form on trees, and flowers begin to bloom. But along with this beauty, also comes the annoyance of seasonal allergies. Tree pollen and mold come out in full force and can cause itchy or watery eyes, sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose, aches and pains, and more. While this can be a nuisance for many adults, for seniors, it can become a greater health concern. Allergies can exacerbate respiratory or cardiovascular problems.
Being proactive when it comes to handling seasonal allergies can help decrease symptoms and provide relief to your senior.
- Check the weather and monitor what the allergen levels are for the day. If they are too high, try to stay indoors.
- If you must go outside, make sure your senior is wearing a hat and sunglasses to help protect them from dust and pollen floating in the air.
- Keep the windows closed at home and in the car and use the air conditioning instead. This can help decrease the amount of allergens circulating in the air.
- Try to avoid areas where grass is being mowed or there are lots of flowers or trees in bloom.
- Dry laundry in the dryer instead of hanging it on the clothes line where it can collect pollen and mold spores.
After spending time outside, make sure to clean up when coming back inside. This can help to reduce the spread of allergens around the home. While you can’t eliminate them completely, you can cut down on your loved one’s exposure.
- Wash your hands and face when coming inside to remove any pollen buildup. It is also a good idea to change clothes and toss what was worn outside into the washing machine.
- Set up an air purifier to help clean any particles out of the air. Don’t forget to change the air filter in the air conditioning as well.
- Regularly vacuum and wipe down common surfaces where dust and allergens may collect.
If your senior is affected by seasonal allergies, it can be tempting to give them an over-the-counter medication to help reduce symptoms and discomfort. However, it is a good idea to check with their doctor first to make sure that it won’t interfere with any medications they are already on, and that it won’t have undesirable side effects. Traditional antihistamines are not always the best choice for seniors, and there may be other options available.
Taking steps to cut down on exposure to common allergens and keep clothing, bedding, and homes clean can help reduce the impact of seasonal allergies. This can be a lot to keep up with and remember for seniors, but an in-home caregiver can provide valuable support. They can assist with light laundry and cleaning, remembering to take any allergy medications, and covering up when going outside. Always Best Care offers these services and many more to support seniors in aging in place more safely and comfortably. Call (855) 470-2273 to schedule a free consultation and discover how your loved one can benefit from in-home care.