Caregivers in Scottsdale AZ
May is Lupus Awareness Month. As a caregiver there are many different ways that you can be aware of this disease. One of the most important, however, is being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of the disease so that you have the best chances of detecting them should they arise in your aging parent. The sooner that you are able to get your parent into the doctor for a thorough examination and proper diagnosis, the sooner that they can get on a course of treatment and management that works with their lifestyle and their health goals.
It is important to note that lupus is not a disease that impacts every sufferer in the same way. In fact, no two people are likely to experience the disease in the same way, which makes it even more important to be able to identify symptoms and changes that could be an indication of the disease. Approximately 1 and a half million Americans are currently living with some form of lupus, and of those only around 10 to 15 percent will live a shortened lifespan due to the disease. The rest will live an average lifespan, but will experience symptoms of the disease throughout the years. You should also know that for most people with this disease, the symptoms do not appear and then stay consistently for the rest of their lives. Instead, they experience flares, or periodic episodes, of the symptoms. During these flares the symptoms will worsen and will then improve or could even disappear for another period of time. This makes it vital that you do not just ignore symptoms or changes even if they appear and then seem to go away.
The symptoms of lupus can appear gradually or they can come on very quickly. They range from very mild nuisance symptoms to severe symptoms, and there is no way to tell if that symptom will return with the next flare, if there will be new symptoms, or if the symptoms will become permanent. Though there are others, some of the most common symptoms and indications of lupus include:
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling
- Joint stiffness
- Butterfly-shaped rash across the face that covers the bridge of the nose and expands across the cheeks
- Dry eyes
- Raynaud’s phenomenon, which is characterized by the fingers and toes turning blue or white during times of stress or when exposed to cold
- Chest pains
- Memory loss
- Skin lesions that occur or get worse with exposure to the sun
If you have noticed a rash, unexplained joint pain and stiffness, or new confusion or memory loss in your elderly parent, it is important to pay attention. Get in touch with their doctor to discuss these symptoms so that the doctor can determine what is causing them. They can then describe the available options for treatment and management so your loved one can make a decision regarding the future of their care throughout your caregiver journey.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Scottsdale, AZ, contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at (480) 725-7002.
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