Although it may not be reported in the news often, liver disease is one of the top causes of death in the United States. Liver disease affects millions of Americans, and 13,000 people in the U.S. are on the waiting list for liver transplants. If you’re a caregiver, you might want to look out for these common symptoms in your senior loved one.
One symptom of liver disease is changes in the skin. A purple rash on the lower legs that doesn’t respond to topical treatment is a common sign of liver disease. While it baffles doctors, bile buildup caused by liver disease can often cause the skin to itch, and many people with liver disease find their palms and feet itch at night. Nails that have changed color is another common sign of liver disease.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care service. Carmichael families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Urine & Stool
Many people with liver disease find their urine is about the same color as root beer. Doctors become especially concerned if seniors report their stool is consistently a lighter color than normal.
People with liver disease often experience changes in the white parts of their eyes. Gaze deeply into your loved one’s eyes to see the color of the outside edges. If you notice a yellow tinge, you might want to suggest your loved one see the doctor, as this is a common sign of bile building up in the system. Many people with liver disease also develop extremely small pimple-like bumps on their eyelids. Some seniors who have liver disease report their eyes become very dry, while others experience changes in their night vision.
Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Carmichael seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Aging adults with liver disease typically experience very little pain or no pain at all. When they do feel discomfort, it’s usually in the stomach because the disease can cause it to become filled with fluid. This fluid buildup can even be so severe it pushes up on the diaphragm, making it very difficult for a senior to breathe. Swelling in the stomach is frequently accompanied by swelling in the breasts and legs. Elderly people may also experience mental confusion as a result of the buildup of fluid.
Older adults who seem to never have the energy or motivation to do anything because they’re fatigued may have liver disease. If you notice your loved one stops doing the things he or she used to enjoy due to being too tired, you might suggest having his or her liver function checked. Several liver diseases can cause changes in neurotransmitters in the brain, which can cause seniors to constantly feel tired.
If you suspect your parent has liver disease, make sure he or she sees the doctor right away. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. If your loved one needs professional home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (916) 485-4663 today.