How to Identify & Treat Hernias in Aging Adults

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Tips to Identify and Treat Hernias in Older Adults in Columbus, OH

A hernia won’t go away without treatment. The type of hernia your elderly loved one has may determine the type of treatment he or she needs. Here are some of the ways to identify and treat hernias in seniors.

Swelling

If your loved one is experiencing swelling in the abdomen, this may be a sign of a hernia. It’s easier to identify the swelling as a hernia if it gets smaller when your loved one coughs, strains, or stands up. If the swelling goes away when your loved one lies down, it’s most likely a hernia, and he or she will need to seek treatment immediately. Failing to treat the hernia could lead to severe health issues, some of which may be life-threatening.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality at-home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

Sharp Pain

The intensity of pain your loved one experiences may depend on the type of hernia he or she has as well as its size. The discomfort seniors experience can be an aching, burning, or gurgling sensation. It’s important for your loved one to see a doctor immediately to get the pain under control and treat the hernia.

Dietary Changes

Spicy foods and tomato-based meals could cause heartburn, which worsens the symptoms associated with a hernia. Your loved one should eat smaller meals and snacks throughout the day and avoid eating large meals to maintain a healthy weight. Your parent should also change his or her eating habits. For example, eating lying down or while bending over might make the hernia worse.

Exercise

Staying physically active could strengthen the muscles around the hernia site and reduce some of the symptoms. Keep in mind exercises done improperly could add pressure at the hernia site and cause it to bulge more. Your loved one’s doctor or physical therapist can provide a list of exercises that are safe to do when treating a hernia.

If your loved one needs assistance with exercises or other daily tasks, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Columbus, OH, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Surgery

Depending on the size of the hernia and how much pain it’s causing your loved one, a doctor may decide to operate. The surgical procedure repairs the hernia, and it’s generally done by patching the abdominal hole with surgical mesh. Most doctors prefer laparoscopic surgery for seniors because it’s the safest and least painful procedure. This type of surgery doesn’t cause as much damage to the surrounding tissues. Hernias can recur after surgery, which is why your loved one will need to make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent a recurrence.

When recovering from surgery, seniors often need extensive assistance once they return home from the hospital. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Columbus Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (614) 481-8888.

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