How to Help a Senior Loved One Manage HIV & AIDS

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According to Juxtaposition Global Health Magazine, the number of Canadian seniors living with HIV has grown considerably in the last 15 years. This is due to increased access to antiretroviral therapies and also because many seniors are being diagnosed later in life. If your aging loved one has HIV or AIDS, Mississauga, ON, 24-hour care experts have a few tips to help him or her live a longer and healthier life.

Manage Medications

HIV and AIDS medications must be taken according to a strict schedule, which can be difficult for seniors with cognitive or memory-related conditions. However, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your loved one complies with his or her medication regimen, which include:

  • Purchasing an electronic pillbox that sends alerts by text or provides audio or visual reminders when a dose is due
  • Using a smartphone app to track your loved one’s medication schedule and issue reminders
  • Hiring a professional Mississauga home caregiver to provide medication reminders

Promote Healthy Eating Habits

A well-balanced diet can help your loved one fight off opportunistic infections that are common in seniors with HIV and AIDs. When preparing meals for your loved one, it is extremely important to ensure cooking surfaces, utensils, and your hands are clean to prevent possible cross-contamination. Food should also be cooked thoroughly to prevent foodborne illnesses, which can be especially problematic for seniors with weakened immune systems. If your loved one has difficulty eating due to nausea or vomiting, his or her doctor may be able to recommend medications that can help.

Limit the Possibility of Infection

A normally minor illness can be dangerous for a senior whose immune system is compromised due to HIV or AIDS. Encourage your loved one to follow his or her doctor’s recommendations regarding annual vaccines. Anyone with even a minor illness or infection should avoid coming in contact with your loved one until fully recovered from the illness. Your loved one should also avoid crowded places during cold and flu season.

Encourage Exercise

Exercise is important in combating the muscle wasting associated with HIV and AIDS, but physical activity can be especially difficult for seniors who have joint conditions affecting mobility and range of motion. A nurse, doctor, or physical therapist can recommend simple exercises to perform in bed or while sitting that can help your loved one maintain muscle mass and increase circulation. 

Seniors with HIV or AIDS often need additional assistance to manage their health. At Home Care Assistance, our dedicated caregivers can prepare nutritious meals for your loved one, assist him or her with exercise, provide medication reminders, and help with a wide variety of everyday tasks. For more information on the in-home senior care Mississauga, ON, seniors trust, call (905) 337-1200 to speak with one of our experienced Care Managers.