Helping a Senior Safely Navigate Spring Allergy Season - Indiana (IN) | Five Star
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Helping a Senior Safely Navigate Spring Allergy Season

April 7, 2016

Helping a Senior Safely Navigate Spring Allergy Season
Spring has sprung! It’s a beautiful time in Indiana as the peonies bloom and the grass turns green again. Unfortunately, this budding season also brings pesky pollen and ragweed that can trigger allergies.
If your senior loved one struggles with sneezing and itchy eyes in the spring, take a step back before giving them an antihistamine. Many of the popular allergy medications are not recommended for older adults. These can increase blood pressure and have negative interactions with their other medications.
Instead of using over-the-counter medications, try a few natural options to help your senior parent navigate Indiana’s allergy season.

Monitor Allergy Symptoms in Your Aging Loved One

It’s a popular myth that older adults don’t suffer from seasonal allergies. Seniors are just as likely to suffer from allergies as children and younger adults. And all of us are vulnerable to developing new and different allergies in later years.
As their family caregiver, keep an eye out for the traditional allergy symptoms. If your mom or dad starts sneezing, complaining of itchy eyes or a runny nose, they may have developed allergies.

Talk with a Senior’s Physician about their Allergy Symptoms

If your parent’s doctor doesn't know allergies are a problem, they can’t help them. Older adults’ physicians may be focused on larger health issues and overlook seasonal symptoms. You can help your parent get proper treatment by bringing the concern to their physician’s attention.
Natural Ways for Treating Allergies in Older Adults

1.Turn on Your Aging Loved One’s Air Conditioning

Encourage your senior loved one to turn the air conditioning on even on mild days. While they may not like the idea of turning the AC when it’s not hot outside, it can help prevent symptoms. Keeping the windows closed prevents pollen and mold from entering the senior’s home.

2. Increase Foods that Reduce Allergies in Seniors

Nutritionists believe that specific foods can fight inflammation and reduce common allergy symptoms in older adults. Encourage meals and snacks that include: 
  • Apples
  • Turmeric
  • Flax Seeds
  • Ginger
  • Leafy Greens
  • Walnut

3. Monitor Pollen Levels to Manage Allergy Symptoms

There are several resources where you can check pollen levels before heading outdoors. Help you parent plan their daily walks and outings for times when the pollen count is lower.
The free services that provide you with daily updates include:  Caring for an Indiana Senior Loved One
The most important thing you can do as a caregiver is to make sure your senior loved one is comfortable. Monitor their symptoms and find a treatment method that reduces discomfort this allergy season.
You can find more tips for Indiana caregivers on Five Star Senior Living’s blog.