If you are a family caregiver for one of the more than 780,000 people throughout the United States who are currently living with Crohn’s disease, one term that you are likely to hear frequently is “flare-up”. This is an episode during which your parent will experience symptoms or an increase in the severity of symptoms. Some people experience these only occasionally, while others might deal with them more often.
Some factors that can influence your parent experiencing a flare-up include:
- Taking certain medications, including antibiotics and NSAIDS.
- Not taking the Crohn’s disease medication that their doctor prescribed for them correctly, not taking the proper medication, or skipping a dose.
- Periods of increased stress or emotional turmoil.
- Eating foods that can irritate the gastrointestinal tract and trigger symptoms. These can vary from person to person but frequently include fried foods or spicy foods.
One of the most important things that you can do is to help your parent recognize the triggers that they have and to take steps to avoid those triggers. This means paying close attention to their health and well-being, noting when they are suffering symptoms, and recognizing patterns surrounding those symptoms that might indicate triggers your parent can modify.
Keeping a food diary is a powerful way to help your parent recognize if they are dealing with food-related triggers for flare-ups. Encourage your parent to write down everything that they eat or drink, or take on this responsibility yourself. Note when they consumed each thing and how these things made them feel. If they experience symptoms after eating or drinking, note this. Review these journals regularly to detect patterns so that you can help your parent to avoid the foods that might be causing irritation to their symptoms and increasing their flare-ups. This information can also be valuable to bring to your parent’s doctor so that they can help you give your parent the care that they need.
Starting elderly care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them. Bringing an elderly home care services provider into your parent’s care routine can ensure that they have access to the care, support, and assistance that they need to manage their challenges and limitations in the way that is right for them. Whether you are in the sandwich generation caring for your elderly parent and your children and therefore have a very busy schedule, you live at a distance from your parent and are unable to be with them as often as you would like, or you have your own limitations that keep you from being able to fulfill your parent’s needs effectively, elderly care can give you peace of mind.
Knowing that this care provider is with your parent lets you know that they have access to highly personalized services designed with their health, safety, and quality of life in mind, while still keeping you involved every step of the way.