March is Deep Vein Thrombosis Month, and as you are focusing your energies on learning about the risk of deep vein thrombosis and how you can prevent it from happening or detect it should it occur, as a caregiver it is important that you are also aware of how you should respond should your aging loved one develop a clot. Approximately 900,000 people will experience deep vein thrombosis each year, and of those, as many as 100,000 of them will die as a result of the clot or complications associated with the clot. Knowing how to respond to a clot and offering nurturing care afterwards gives your loved one the best chances of a full and successful recovery.
When it comes to aftercare for a senior who has suffered a blood clot, it is important to note that serious consequences, including death, are not always immediate. Only as much as 30 percent of deaths occur within the first month of diagnosis, meaning ongoing care and treatment is essential to making sure that your parent heals properly and stays healthy even after suffering this condition.
Some things that you can do to care for your parent after she suffers deep vein thrombosis include:
- Understanding your parent’s medication. It is likely that your parent will receive a prescription for medication after suffering a blood clot. Make sure that you understand what this medication is, what it does, and how your parent should take it. This will ensure you can keep your parent as compliant as possible as she recovers. It is also important to ask about any dietary restrictions that she might have when taking these medications. Some, for example, do not respond well to high amounts of vitamin K so you may need to modify her diet to ensure her medication works properly.
- Pay attention to bleeding. If your parent is on medication following a blood clot, make sure that you are paying attention to her bleeding if she is injured. These medications can cause excessive bleeding which can be dangerous. If you notice that your parent is bleeding too much or you are having difficulty controlling the bleeding, bring it to the attention of her doctor as soon as possible.
- Get her active. Experiencing a blood clot can be frightening, and the treatments can be unpleasant, but do not let this become an excuse for your parent to stay inactive. Encourage her to find physical activities that she enjoys and participate in them with her regularly to keep her body active and her blood flowing. If it helps, consider setting an alarm on her phone, tablet, or even kitchen timer so that she remembers to get up and walk around every hour if she is prone to sitting throughout the day.
- Get her healthy. Suffering from one instance of deep vein thrombosis does not mean that it will not happen again. In fact, approximately 33 percent of people who have one blood clot will have another within 10 years. Working with your parent to improve her lifestyle so that she can be as healthy as possible, including achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, reducing risk of or managing diabetes, and staying active, can help her to not only recover effectively, but reduce the chances that she will suffer a repeat clot.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Rio Verde, AZ, contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at (480) 725-7002.
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