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What Do You Do if Your Dad Has Diverticulitis?

After the age of 40, diverticula become a common issue. These small pouches are found on the lining of the large intestine. Usually, they are not a problem. For unknown reasons, fecal matter sometimes gets into the pouches. If they become infected or irritated, they can lead to diverticulitis.

Caregiver in Windsor CA: Caring for a Senior with Diverticulitis

Caregiver in Windsor CA: Caring for a Senior with Diverticulitis

According to Harvard Medical School, 1 out of 3 Americans will have diverticulitis by the time they’re 60. By the age of 85, about 66 percent of seniors have had it.

The key symptoms of diverticulitis are intense pain in the abdomen, nausea, chills, fever, and constipation or diarrhea. The health condition will be distressing to your dad but also to you. The pain may cause your dad to double over. You may want to rush him to the ER to see what’s wrong.

At the ER, your dad will undergo blood and urine tests to check for infection. He may undergo a CT scan to look at the large intestine and abdominal area. Depending on the results, he may need to stay in the hospital, or he may be sent home to treat himself.

Keys to Prevention.

To keep diverticulitis from happening, your dad needs to stick to a high-fiber diet. Some experts think constipation and straining might increase the risk of developing diverticulitis. If your dad drinks plenty of water and eats foods that are high in dietary fiber, he may lower his chances.

What Happens When Diverticulitis Flares Up.

Some minor cases will clear up with antibiotics, dietary changes, and rest. Other cases will require medical attention. IV antibiotics and fluids are given at the hospital to kill the bacteria causing the inflammation. Surgical intervention may be needed if an abscess forms. If hospitalization is required, your dad will be told to follow a liquid diet for several days before switching to soft foods.

At home, your dad will need to take care of himself. Rest is important. His doctor will recommend resting the bowels for a few days. This means a clear liquid diet of broths, plain tea, Jello, and pulp-free fruit juices for a couple of days followed by soft foods like applesauce, mashed potatoes, and creamy soups.

While he’s taking it easy and resting, your dad will benefit from home care. Caregivers can cook meals for him, make sure he’s taking his antibiotics at the correct times, and make sure he drinks enough water.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Windsor, CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

 

Sources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/diverticular-disease-of-the-colon

 

 

 

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.