You can’t always be there. But we can.
Heartburn can be really uncomfortable, making it hard for your older family member to enjoy their day. When it occurs at night, it can keep the senior from getting a good night’s sleep. Heartburn is often triggered by something, which means it can also be prevented and managed.
#1: Workout at the Right Time
Many people don’t know that exercising too close to eating can trigger heartburn. Your aging relative should not exercise within 2 hours after eating a meal. So, take that morning walk before breakfast or shortly before lunch!
#2: Wear the Right Clothing
Clothes that fit tightly around the waist can promote heartburn by placing pressure on the stomach. When that happens, stomach contents can more easily leak through the sphincter that separates the esophagus from the stomach, causing heartburn. If your older family member is wearing pants that are too tight or cinching up their belt, they may need to change the way they dress. Comfortable clothing with room for digestion will work best.
#3: Avoid Trigger Foods
Certain foods can trigger heartburn. These foods can be different for every person, so to find out the ones that affect your aging relative, keep a log of foods they eat and whether they experience heartburn symptoms. Some foods that commonly cause heartburn are:
#4: Weight Loss
Excess weight in the abdomen places pressure on the stomach. Losing even a little weight can improve heartburn symptoms. Eating a better diet and increasing physical activity are the best ways for older adults to lose weight.
#5: Practice a Smart Bedtime Routine
If heartburn tends to strike your older family member at night, some changes in their bedtime routine can make all the difference. First, the senior should avoid eating a meal within two or three hours before bedtime. Having a full stomach combined with the laws of gravity makes it easier for stomach contents to get into the esophagus. Another way to prevent food from moving upward is to elevate the head of the bed. This can be accomplished simply by placing 6-inch blocks of wood under the feet of the bed. Don’t use pillows to attempt to achieve the same results since it will cause the body to bend in the wrong place and put more pressure on the stomach.
Senior care can assist seniors with heartburn prevention. A senior care provider can help to keep the older adult on a regular schedule where they don’t exercise or sleep too close to a meal. Senior care providers can also prepare meals that limit or avoid foods that trigger heartburn.