April is Sarcoidosis Awareness Month. There’s no cure for this disease. Often, the symptoms go away on their own. In up to 30 percent of those diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, the disease remains despite treatments.
Sarcoidosis often appears by the age of 40. It’s more common in women and in families where another has the disease. There are no guarantees, however. While it may go away over time, but it can leave lasting issues. If a senior citizen has or had sarcoidosis, assistance is often needed to help with daily activities of living.
What is Sarcoidosis?
Sarcoidosis is a disease where the body forms groups of inflammatory cells somewhere in the body. It’s believed that the disease stems from the cells attacking something that’s inhaled. Research has not definitively found a cause, however.
The areas of the body that are most likely to be affected are the eyes, heart, lungs, and skin. Symptoms usually start with exhaustion, fever, and weight loss. The lymph nodes swell up. From there, symptoms depend on the area that’s seeing the inflammatory cell clusters.
If the clusters form in the lungs, symptoms may seem to be asthmatic in nature with difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing. Chest pain is also a symptom.
Sarcoidosis also affects the skin. A rash on the ankles and shins may appear. In the eyes, it can cause pain, blurred vision, and light sensitivity. In the heart, chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heart rhythms, swelling, and lightheadedness are common.
Treatments for Sarcoidosis
After being diagnosed with sarcoidosis, treatments begin. Patients usually take at least one prescription medication. Corticosteroids are usually the first route. They’re designed to stop the inflammatory response. Medications that slow or stop the immune system’s functions is another option.
Medications need to be taken as prescribed. Home care aides should offer reminders to seniors who often forget to take medications at the proper time. With home care providers on hand in the early stages, there’s also someone on hand to watch for reactions to the newly prescribed medications.
If the disease has damaged internal organs, a transplant surgery may become necessary. Caregivers can help with the recovery by cooking meals, taking care of light housework, and driving patients to follow-up appointments.
These are just a few of the services home care providers offer. Specialists work with you to find a plan that meets your parent’s needs. If your parent has sarcoidosis, call our agency to discuss other helpful home care options. Learn more today.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Naples FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 307-0033. Ft. Myers: (239) 307-0065.
In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.