Elder Care Tips: Dealing with Heartburn

Elder Care in Toronto

Heartburn is one of those conditions that may be extremely common, but can also play a significant role in your elder care journey with your aging loved ones. Even if your parents’ heartburn is Elder-Care-Torontoonly occasional, it can be painful and lead to digestive problems and sleep disruptions. If it is chronic or severe, it can make a serious negative impact on their quality of life and could be an indication of a more serious medical condition at play. Finding ways to decrease the frequency with which your parents experience heartburn and easing the intensity of the pain and discomfort can dramatically improve their quality of life, boost their overall wellbeing, and lower the risk of other related health concerns.

If your aging parents have been suffering from heartburn, make an appointment with their doctor to have them thoroughly examined so that you can find the source of the heartburn and make sure that there are not more serious problems influencing their condition. Once you have a proper diagnosis, you can utilize home approaches to help your parents cope with their heartburn.

 

Some things that you and your parents’ elderly health care services provider can do to help your seniors cope with their heartburn and reduce the frequency and intensity of the symptoms include:

• Avoid trigger foods. Certain foods are linked to heartburn flares and worsened heartburn. Avoid foods such as citrus fruits, citrus fruit juice, caffeine, chocolate, red wine, peppermint, coffee, tomatoes, and carbonation.

• Elevate the head while sleeping. Heartburn is caused by stomach acids backing up into the esophagus, causing the burning sensation on the sensitive tissues. This is worsened when you are lying flat. Elevating the top of the bed to create a slightly downward angle of the body encourages the stomach acids to stay in place, reducing the risk of experiencing heartburn at night.

• Eat small meals. Eating large meals puts more pressure on the esophageal sphincter, increasing the chances of it opening and allowing acid up in the throat. Eating smaller meals throughout the day keeps stomach acids at bay and helps keep the sphincter closed.

• Eat at least 2 hours before sleep. Laying down immediately after eating increases the chances that the acid will rise up out of the stomach. Staying sitting or standing after eating uses gravity to keep the acid down and encourages all of the digestive juices and food to enter the intestines before you go to bed.

• Take a walk. Walking after eating encourages faster and more efficient digestions and supports the flow of the digestive juices and food down through the digestive tract so that it does not rise into the throat, causing heartburn.

• Track the symptoms. Each person has his own personal symptom triggers. Track when your parents experience their heartburn symptoms so that you can narrow down the behaviors and foods that may cause their symptoms so you can limit or eliminate these triggers, helping to minimize the frequency of their heartburn flares.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care services in Toronto, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.

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