Approximately one in five men and one in four women between the ages of 65 and 74 have some form of chronic kidney disease. Families providing Vancouver at-home care for their senior loved ones may be wondering how to prevent this and other serious conditions from developing. The answer may actually be a change in your loved one’s diet. Here are some foods that can help keep your loved one’s kidneys healthy.
Foods Low in Potassium
The kidneys are responsible for regulating electrolytes, including potassium. If your loved one’s kidneys are not functioning properly, his or her potassium levels can rise. This can increase your loved one’s risk of heart attack or stroke. Low-potassium foods include:
- Red peppers
- Red fruits like raspberries, cherries, cranberries, red grapes, and strawberries
Foods High in Iron
The kidneys play a significant role in the production of red blood cells. Seniors with decreased kidney function or chronic kidney disease may have insufficient red blood cells, which can result in low iron levels. This condition, also known as anemia, can cause fatigue. You can help your loved one by encouraging him or her to eat iron-rich foods, including eggs and green leafy vegetables.
Foods Low in Sodium
Hypertension is a leading cause of kidney disease. Over time, high blood pressure damages blood vessels, including those in the kidneys. You can help your loved one manage blood pressure by encouraging him or her to choose foods that are low in sodium, including:
- Any fresh fruits and vegetables prepared and served without additional salt
- Packaged or canned vegetables marked low-sodium and prepared without additional seasonings and sauces
- Lean proteins that are not pre-seasoned or battered
- Condiments and dressings specifically marked as low-sodium
Although not a “food” per se, getting enough fluids to maintain proper hydration is essential to kidney health. Many seniors fail to drink adequate fluids on a daily basis and may take medicine that can cause them to lose fluids. If your loved one becomes dehydrated, his or her urine becomes more concentrated, which puts extra strain on the kidneys as he or she attempts to filter waste. If your loved one does not drink water often enough, he or she can try options like ginger ale, decaffeinated tea, or fruit juices in moderation.
Once your loved one is on track with a healthy diet, it’s important he or she sticks with it. A professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with meal prep and even go grocery shopping to find the ingredients your loved one needs to remain healthy. We also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s care in Vancouver. Call one of our friendly Case Managers today at (778) 279-3634 to learn more about senior nutrition and the important role it plays in your loved one’s wellbeing.