Have you ever heard of the disease called lupus? If you are like two-thirds of Americans, you don’t know anything about this serious disease that can affect people of any age or ethnicity. May is Lupus Awareness Month, and there’s no better time to gather up more information on this serious autoimmune disease that can have a significant health effect on the elderly.
Elder Care Hacienda Heights CA – FAQ’s About Lupus Awareness Month
As a family caregiver to your aging loved one, you owe it to them to learn more about lupus, including symptoms and treatments.
Here are some frequently asked questions about lupus that deserve some attention thanks to Lupus Awareness Month:
Q: What is lupus?
A: Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to turn on itself. The immune system generally attacks tissues and organs like the brain, kidneys, joints, skin, heart and lungs. Medical experts are not sure what causes lupus and to date there is no cure.
Q: Is lupus common in elderly adults?
A:Nearly 20 percent of all new lupus cases are found in adults over the age of 60, so it is certainly a disease that often manifests in the elderly. Because the symptoms are like many age-related illnesses and diseases, lupus is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed in the elderly population. Women are more likely to get the disease than men.
Q: What are the symptoms of lupus in elders?
A: Lupus symptoms in the elderly include facial rash, fever, headaches, chest pain, fatigue, stiff and swollen joints, overall pain, memory loss, and sensitive fingers and toes. The symptoms can manifest differently so it’s important that family caregivers and elder care providers pay close attention to what’s happening with an elderly adult.
Q: How serious is lupus in seniors?
A:Without treatment, elders can face all kinds of serious health problems related to lupus. Some of these include kidney disease, heart disease, inflammation of the lungs, osteoporosis and a greater risk existing infections and cancer. Lupus can also complicate existing health conditions and cause problems for treatment plans and medications. Seniors with lupus have a difficult time living independently and may need to rely on an elder care provider for basic needs.
Q: How is lupus treated in seniors?
A:While there is no cure for lupus, numerous medications prescribed by a doctor can ease symptoms and help with some of the more serious effects. Medicines include corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, antimalarial drugs and immunosuppressants.
Q: How can family caregivers help elderly relatives with lupus?
A:When it comes to living with lupus, elderly adults need to build a support network of doctors, family members, elder care providers, friends and more who can help when needed. Focusing on regular doctor visits, nutritious meals, moderate activity and low stress can contribute a lot to their quality of life and help them stay happy and healthy despite the diagnosis.
Belina Calderon-Nernberg is the CEO and founder of 1Heart Caregiver Services. Recently offering 1Heart franchise business opportunities to the public, Belina provided the vision, leadership, and direction that the company needed to achieve its goal of making a positive difference in the homecare industry. As her greatest accomplishment, the company is now equipped with the expertise to expand its business operations to different States in the U.S. Belina brings with her a corporate experience of 25 years, with 15 solid years of experience as CEO of an employment agency and a senior care service company in Southern California. Belina has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of St. La Salle, Philippines. She has been the recipient of several awards given to emerging leaders in business, community service, arts, and entertainment. She has also been honored as an Ambassador of Goodwill by the HiFi (Historic Filipinotown) Neighborhood Council. This title is bestowed to carefully selected Filipino-Americans who are persons of integrity who have the ability “to promote, reach out, influence and mobilize public interest and support of the ideals, values, principles, and programs of the Historic Filipinotown.