There are many tools and skills that you will use in your caregiver journey with your older loved one, but one of the most important is awareness. Educating yourself about the risks they face and the challenges they may encounter during their later years is an important step in preparing yourself to identify issues and create a care routine that will allow you to help them manage these problems if they arise.

Sepsis is a potentially devastating condition, and it’s important for you to learn more about what you can do to help protect your older loved one from the severe consequences that can happen when it occurs.

Sepsis itself is not actually an infection, but rather a response to infection in which the body’s chemical response causes inflammation throughout the body.  It progresses extremely rapidly, like a chain reaction. Sepsis typically affects those over 65 and under the age of 1.  Most adults have a health condition that may put them at risk, like pneumonia, kidney and urinary tract infections, diabetes or a skin injury.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 1.7 million Americans get sepsis each year.  The rate of death from sepsis each year is more than that of AIDS, breast cancer, and prostate cancer combined.  

Fortunately, sepsis is a treatable condition if you act fast. Early detection of the signs and symptoms of sepsis increases the chances that an individual will be treated successfully, helps prevent organ failure and enables them to get through this dangerous condition in the best way possible. You can be instrumental in not only helping your older loved one avoid this type of condition, but also to get the treatment and attention they need.

Here are some signs and symptoms to watch for: a temperature that is higher or lower than normal, physical signs of infection, a high heart rate with clammy or sweaty skin, shortness of breath, mental decline with increased confusion or sleepiness, and extreme pain.  If you think it could be sepsis, get help quickly and tell your hospital or health professional of your suspicions.

You can prevent sepsis by practicing good hygiene – washing your hands thoroughly and frequently is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection. Cover up cuts and infected areas.  Remember to stay up to date with vaccines.

 This may also be the time to consider the benefits and peace of mind professional in-home care can provide.  The companionship and assistance a carefully matched, heart centered Home Helpers caregiver provides can help your older loved one stay happy, healthy and safe as they age in place. Our highly personalized care can boost self-confidence and connect with their youthful spirit.  A Home Helpers caregiver has the skills to assist with all personal care, help around the house, transportation and specialized care for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.  It’s a decision that can make a real difference in their and your life.  

For a free in-home consultation to create a customized schedule to help your loved one live life to the fullest in the comfort of their own home, please contact Home Helpers of Alpharetta at (678) 430-8511.

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