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How to Manage HIV & AIDS in the Senior Years

In 2011, over 26 percent of reported AIDS cases in Canada were seniors, and this number is steadily increasing. HIV-positive Canadians are able to live longer and healthier lives because of better treatment options, but there are still a few special considerations they need to take. If your elderly loved one is living with HIV or AIDS, the Kitchener elder care experts at Home Care Assistance have a few tips to help him or her remain healthy.

Eat a Diet Rich in Fiber and Probiotics

Because HIV attacks the T cells produced in the stomach, many seniors who have this virus develop gastrointestinal conditions, making it extremely difficult for their bodies to absorb certain forms of antiretroviral medication. When consumed in higher doses, both probiotics and fiber can protect T cells, boost gut bacteria, and strengthen the lining of the GI tract.

Test for Additional STDs Immediately

Even if your loved one is no longer sexually active and not showing the symptoms of another STD, he or she may still be a carrier. Not only can HIV make other STDs progress at a quicker rate, but other STDs often exacerbate HIV’s side effects. If your loved one has not had a comprehensive STD test carried out in the last year, schedule an appointment with a doctor immediately.

Manage Medications Properly

Poor medication management can be devastating to seniors who have HIV or AIDS. Many forms of HIV medication must be taken every day, and missing a single dose gives the virus the opportunity to become resistant to the pills. Kitchener, ON, caregivers and family members providing home care in KW can help quite a bit with medication management. Calling your loved one every day to make sure he or she has taken the necessary medication can prevent a fatal accident.

Look After Emotional Health

A 2009 study funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found people with HIV are nearly twice as likely to experience depression as those without the virus. Not only does depression affect emotional wellbeing, but it can also compromise the immune system. In addition to personal counseling and group therapy, seniors who have been diagnosed with HIV might also be prescribed depression medication to enhance their overall quality of life.

If your loved one needs help managing HIV or AIDS, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to provide medication reminders and emotional support, prepare nutritious meals, and assist with many other important tasks. In addition to respite and live-in care, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care Kitchener, ON, seniors can rely on. For more information and to schedule a free consultation with a qualified Care Manager, call (519) 954-2111 today.