IV Therapy for the Elderly

If you’ve ever had an IV in your arm, you have had some form of IV therapy.

To undergo the process, a medical bag is filled with saline and other substances that may include vitamins, minerals, and medications.

The bag has a catheter that is attached to a needle that’s inserted directly in the patient’s vein. This allows the patient to benefit from the solution in the bag on a continual basis whether they are asleep or awake, conscious or unconscious. It also provides increased absorption of the bag’s contents.

In the past, IV therapy was administered only in a medical setting. Today, therapists go door to the door coming to people’s homes to provide care in a comfortable environment. This can be especially beneficial to seniors who have difficulty getting to the doctor’s office.

Beyond the convenience IV therapy offers, it provides several health benefits. Read on to find out more about IV therapy and how it can boost wellness in seniors.

What Fluids are Found in an IV Bag?

An IV bag may contain a variety of fluids that are specially included to suit the patient’s medical needs. Here are some that may be mixed into the solution you are being treated with.

Saline: Saline is made up of water and sodium chloride. It is great for hydration, and it is typically the base ingredient of most IV bags.

  • Dextrose: Dextrose is a type of sugar. Although most sugars are thought of as being harmful to health, dextrose normalizes low blood sugar and is converted to energy in the body.
  • Lactated Ringer’s: Lactated Ringer’s is an IV solution that contains a mix of water, sodium lactate, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride. It may be mixed with other ingredients. It is commonly used during surgery, and it is optimal for treating hydration.
  • Vitamin B: A Vitamin B IV bag will contain a mixture of B Vitamins including B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-9, and B-12. These make up the Vitamin B complex that is vital to metabolism and nerve function. Patients may require a Vitamin B IV if their body has trouble absorbing B vitamins.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is great for boosting immunity and it is often provided in IV form to people that are under the weather.
  • Calcium: Calcium is beneficial to bone and tooth health.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium plays an essential role in metabolic function. It has been shown to reduce inflammation. It can relieve cramps and prevent migraines.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidants protect the body from disease. Your IV may include a mixture of antioxidants like glutathione and vitamins A, C, and E.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotic IV therapy is beneficial to patients fighting an infection.

Benefits of IV Therapy for Seniors

IV therapy may provide different benefits depending on what it is formulated to treat. Here are some ways it can boost wellness in seniors.

Provides Instant Hydration

Most IV bags are mixed with saline which is great for hydration. Once seniors are properly hydrated, they will feel more energized. Their focus and concentration will increase, and their bodies will be better protected from sickness and injury.

Quicker Recovery from Illness and Reduced Chances of Becoming Ill

The vitamins in an IV bag boost the immune system making seniors less prone to colds, flu, and other viruses. They also help the body recover from conditions like muscle damage, respiratory issues, kidney stones, constipation, and migraines.

Less Reliance on Pills

Many seniors take medication that can cause harmful side effects. The vitamins and minerals delivered in IV therapy increase wellness to reduce seniors’ reliance on pills, so they don’t have to deal with unwanted side effects.

Flushes the Body of Toxins

Toxins are unavoidable. They are in the foods we eat, and we absorb them through the atmosphere. They damage enzymes, cause low energy, prevent the production of hemoglobin in the blood and increase the risk of disease. They are especially harmful to seniors who are likely to have pre-existing health conditions.

IV therapy flushes the body of toxins that have been building up in the body for years. This leads to boosted immunity and a lower chance of becoming ill.

Great for Fatigue

Seniors may be dealing with low energy levels that cause feelings of fatigue. IV therapy provides an energy boost reducing fatigue in the body. It is especially effective in combatting symptoms of jet lag, and it reduces pain and headaches.

Promotes Weight Loss

Excess weight is detrimental to health. It puts pressure on the heart as well as the joints of the body. Seniors may have a hard time losing weight as they have less strength for vigorous exercise routines.

IV therapy promotes weight loss by providing the body with the vitamins it needs to recover from workouts so individuals can follow a regular exercise routine. The increased nutrition also makes for better sleep which is beneficial to weight loss.

What to Expect from IV Therapy

The length of IV therapy varies. In most cases, it takes 45 minutes to an hour. Some people will feel the effects of the therapy immediately while it may take others longer to experience the benefits.

The results of the procedure can last for a few days, but this will vary depending on the patient’s size and metabolism and the severity of symptoms being treated.

Where Can I Get IV Therapy?

IV therapy is administered in several different environments. It is common for patients to be treated with an IV at the hospital. Some urgent care centers may have IV equipment on hand for minor medical emergencies.

There are also medical spas and IV bars that offer IV therapy. Patients can visit to undergo an IV treatment in a relaxing atmosphere under the care of medical professionals.

Health care providers can also go to your home for IV treatment. This is a terrific option for seniors who may have trouble getting out to a medical office or spa.

IV therapy is beneficial in treating several health conditions and boosting overall wellness. It is especially effective for seniors that may be dealing with medical issues. It works to strengthen their immunity, raise their energy levels and recover sooner from illness and injuries. Will you be recommending it to your loved ones?

Sean Byers, MD

Sean Byers, MD

Sean Byers is currently a Resident in the Internal Medicine program at UTMB. He studied at the University of Queensland School of Medicine as well as received his Master’s in Public Health with a focus in epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Southern California. His background is in biology, computer science, public health, and internal medicine.

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