National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month: What Is Hemochromatosis?
July 22, 2022
What is hemochromatosis? July's National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month is an excellent time to learn more about this disease and how it affects your mom's day-to-day routine.
Hemochromatosis is a disease that can be genetically inherited or caused by a secondary condition such as anemia or alcoholism. People of European descent have a higher risk. If it's present, excessive amounts of iron build up in the blood and collect in certain organs, such as the heart, liver, and pancreas.
When the iron levels are higher than they should be for a long period, it can cause organ damage. Signs of hemochromatosis include arrhythmias, darkened skin, diabetes, low hormone production, and cirrhosis of the liver.
Treatments for hemochromatosis include therapeutic phlebotomy, which is a process where some blood is removed from the body to lower iron levels. There's also a newer medication that blocks the absorption of iron.
How Does Senior Home Care Support Your Mom?
When your mom has hemochromatosis, therapeutic blood removal is often the first treatment option. It can require up to eight medical visits per month until iron levels are low enough to try using medications instead. After having blood removed, your mom may not feel up to driving herself home.
With senior home care aides available to drive her to and from these blood drawing appointments, she doesn't have to worry about waiting around for hours until she feels well enough to drive. Her doctor may advise her not to drive.
In addition to helping with transportation, senior home care aides can assist your mom around the home. They can prepare meals and snacks while she rests. Housekeeping chores like vacuuming, dishes, laundry, and dusting are taken care of by her caregivers.
Instead of struggling with tasks that require flexibility and balance, she has caregivers to do them. She'll have help with household chores like changing sheets, making the bed, and putting the laundry and groceries away.
Your mom has to be careful about the foods she eats. She needs to avoid or limit iron-rich foods. Her caregiver can help her choose the right items in the grocery store. If she can't read nutrition facts, she has a caregiver who can read them for her and find the iron count.
If organ damage is present, her caregivers can help her with personal care. She'll have someone available to remind her when to take medications and to watch that she's up and active each day.
When your mom has hemochromatosis, she's going to have regular appointments with her doctor. Schedule senior home care visits to ensure she has the support she needs Her caregivers can drive her to medical offices, help her run errands, and support her at home. Talk to a senior home care specialist to learn more.
If you or your loved one is looking for Senior Home Care in Santa Cruz, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.
Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990
San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777
Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990