Medical Alerts for Seniors with Chronic Kidney Disease

Medical Alerts for Seniors with Chronic Kidney Disease

time icon 6 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


Chronic kidney disease, also commonly referred to as chronic kidney failure, affects approximately 14 percent of the U.S. population. The disease is characterized as the gradual loss of kidney function. At an advanced stage, chronic kidney disease allows dangerous levels of electrolytes, fluids and wastes to build up in the body.

High blood pressure and diabetes are common causes of chronic kidney disease. Additionally, nearly half of all individuals suffering from chronic kidney disease also suffer from diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Chronic Kidney Disease Impairment

Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that may damage a patient’s kidneys, preventing their ability to filter the blood or remove dangerous fluids and waste. Advanced stages of chronic kidney disease may lead to other complications, such as hypertension, anemia, weakened bones, and nerve damage.

Studies show that chronic kidney disease can also increase the risk of developing heart and vascular diseases. The onset of these conditions may happen over a long period of time, however, early detection and treatment can help deter chronic kidney disease from advancing. Kidney failure may be a result of advanced stages of chronic kidney disease. Kidney failure requires a kidney transplant or dialysis to maintain quality of life.

Chronic Kidney Disease Impairment

A diagnosis of chronic kidney disease is often non-specific since the disease can be caused by a combination of other illnesses. Kidneys are highly adaptable, and are often capable of compensating for lost functions and returning to normal after receiving treatments.In some cases, kidney failure may develop gradually, and the damages suffered may be irreversible.

If a patient begins to experience common symptoms of chronic kidney disease, it is likely that some permanent damage has already occurred.Noticeable symptoms of chronic kidney disease may gradually appear if the kidney damage develops slowly.

Common impairments of chronic kidney disease may include:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased mental ability
  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Persistent itching
  • Chest pain
  • Uncontrollable hypertension
Medical Alert Benefits

In some instances, individuals experiencing a chronic kidney disease emergency may be unresponsive. Medical alerts allow first aid and medical professionals to be notified in a timely manner to take the appropriate actions.

Potential complications of chronic kidney disease may include:

  • Fluid retention
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Weakened bones
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Personality changes
  • Seizures
  • Decreased immune response, which increases vulnerability to infections
  • Pericarditis
  • Irreversible kidney damage that may require dialysis or a kidney transplant
Safety Without Medical Alerts

When other underlying diseases are controlled, chronic kidney disease complications can sometimes be prevented. Individuals who are suffering with chronic kidney disease will need to focus on preventing the complications of kidney failure 

  • Hypertension: A safe blood pressure range is 120/80 to 130/80. When not regulated, the symptoms of high blood pressure can include dizziness and headaches. Blood pressure can be regulated by maintaining physical fitness, minimizing sodium intake and eating a balanced diet. Individuals should also check their blood pressure levels at home.Untreated hypertension can result in other serious conditions such as stroke, cardiovascular disease and kidney failure.
  • Fluid retention: Fluid retention occurs when there is an excess buildup of fluids in the body. Side effects include bloating, puffiness and swelling in the arms, legs, feet and hands. These side effects can cause challenges to mobility. Seniors can reduce the possibility of fluid retention by consuming less salt, eating foods rich in potassium and avoiding refined carbs.
Chronic Kidney Disease Precautions:
  1. Follow medication instructions: When taking pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, seniors should follow the instructions on the package. Ingesting too many pain relievers could result in kidney damage.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight: Seniors should maintain a healthy weight by being physically active regularly. Being overweight and obese are major risk factors for chronic kidney disease.
  3. Refrain from smoking: Cigarette smoking can lead to kidney damage,or cause existing kidney damage to worsen. If a senior is a smoker, strategies should be sought to quit smoking. Support groups, counseling and medications should be utilized when needed.
  4. Manage current medical conditions: Current diseases and conditions could increase a senior’s risk of developing kidney disease; therefore, all medical conditions and diseases should be monitored closely. Doctors should regularly monitor and test seniors to observe for signs of kidney damage.
Chronic Kidney Disease Medical Alerts Conclusion

Chronic kidney disease requires close monitoring and special attention to be maintained properly. In the event of an emergency, the person in distress may not be able to speak or communicate clearly. Furthermore, the individual may even be unresponsive. Unfortunately, emergencies may occur when a loved one who has knowledge of the medical condition may not be present.

In these cases, medical alert services are vital. These systems are designed to alert relatives, health professionals and urgent care services when an accident or emergency has occurred in the home. If a senior is feeling ill, has fallen, or is facing an emergency, medical alert services will have help on the way with ease.

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

Shae is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.