As your elderly family member ages, she may start to experience health issues that she’s never had to worry about before. One such issue could be problems with her thyroid gland. The thyroid is a small gland at the base of your senior’s throat. This one little gland produces hormones that regulate a lot of your senior’s bodily functions. When that gland isn’t working properly, a whole lot can go wrong.
Your Senior’s Thyroid Can Be Under- or Over-Active
The thyroid gland produces hormones that help to manage metabolism and other aspects of general health, like your senior’s blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate. The thyroid can be over-active or it can be under-active. When the thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormones, that’s called hypothyroidism. When too many thyroid hormones are produced, that is called hyperthyroidism.
Screening for Thyroid Problems Is Important
Your senior can have trouble with her thyroid and not realize it. Sometimes the symptoms are subtle and don’t seem to be related to each other at all. Your elderly family member’s doctor can screen for thyroid issues with a simple blood test. This is usually part of her yearly physical, but if your elderly family member is experiencing symptoms she may want to ask for additional screening tests.
Know the Risk Factors for Thyroid Issues
If your elderly family member has a family history of thyroid issues, she may be at higher risk of experiencing thyroid problems herself. Past health issues related to her thyroid, including Graves disease, may mean that she is more likely to have thyroid problems now. Staying alert for symptoms like sudden weight loss or gain, irregular heart rate, muscle weakness, and fatigue can all help your senior’s doctor to identify thyroid issues.
Sticking with Her Doctor’s Care Plan Is Crucial
Once your elderly family member has a diagnosis, it’s important that she follows the care plan that her doctor outlines for her. That plan might include making some lifestyle changes, but it can also mean taking medications to help with her condition. Sticking with the plan is going to give her the best chance at getting her thyroid problems under better control.
Your Senior May Need Extra Help
People with thyroid issues often may not feel well at all, sometimes for days and weeks at a time. Hypothyroidism in particular can cause your senior to have a lot of trouble keeping up with her normal daily routine. Home care assistance can make a big difference for her as she gets her care plan adjusted. Senior care providers can remind her to take medications, ensure that she’s eating, and keep her company when she’s not feeling well. Home care assistance can also help to keep you aware of what’s going on with your elderly family member, which is especially important if you live far away.
If your elderly family member is experiencing issues with her thyroid, make sure that she sees her doctor about what she’s feeling. The sooner she has a diagnosis, the better.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Home Care Assistance in Miami, FL please contact the caring staff at Elite Care At Home today at (305) 231-0555.
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