Identifying & Treating Hernias in the Elderly

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A hernia won’t go away without treatment. The type of hernia your elderly loved one has may determine the type of treatment he or she needs. Here are some of the ways to identify and treat hernias in seniors. 



If your loved one is experiencing swelling in the abdomen, this may be a sign of a hernia. It’s easier to identify the swelling as a hernia if it gets smaller when your loved one coughs, strains, or stands up. If the swelling goes away when lying down, it’s most likely a hernia, and your loved one will need to seek treatment immediately. Failing to treat the hernia could lead to severe health issues, some of which may be life-threatening. 

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Trust Assisting Hands Home Care to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.


Sharp Pain

The intensity of pain your loved one experiences may depend on the type of hernia as well as its size. The discomfort seniors experience can be an aching, burning, or gurgling sensation. It’s important for your loved one to see a doctor immediately to get the pain under control and treat the hernia. 


Dietary Changes

Spicy foods and tomato-based meals could cause heartburn, which worsens the symptoms associated with a hernia. Your loved one should eat smaller meals and snacks throughout the day and avoid eating large meals to maintain a healthy weight. Your parent should also change his or her eating habits. For example, eating lying down or while bending over might make the hernia worse. 



Staying physically active could strengthen the muscles around the hernia site and reduce some of the symptoms. Keep in mind exercises done improperly could add pressure at the hernia site and cause it to bulge more. Your loved one’s doctor or physical therapist can provide a list of exercises that are safe to do when treating a hernia. 

If your loved one needs assistance with exercises or other daily tasks, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Fort Lauderdale, FL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.



Depending on the size of the hernia and how much pain it’s causing your loved one, a doctor may decide to operate. The surgical procedure repairs the hernia, and it’s generally done by patching the abdominal hole with surgical mesh. Most doctors prefer laparoscopic surgery for seniors because it’s the safest and least painful procedure. This type of surgery doesn’t cause as much damage to the surrounding tissues. Hernias can recur after surgery, which is why your loved one will need to make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent a recurrence. 

When recovering from surgery, seniors often need extensive assistance once they return home from the hospital. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Fort Lauderdale families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Call today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager to formulate a home care plan for your loved one.