Does it seem like you get sick more than you did when you were younger. When you are under the weather, does it take you longer to feel good again?
Immunity — your body’s defense system — tends to get weaker with age.
On a more positive note, there is ways that you can give your immune system a boost:
Senior Health Boosters
Regular physical activity can help older adults stay strong, independent, and healthy. But did you know that exercise can also support immune health?
A moderate-intensity workout every week for at least 150 minutes is recommended. Encourage your aging loved ones to find amusing activities that match their level of fitness. A fast 10-minute walk around the block for example can be a good way to get started.
Try yoga and Tai Chi for improved flexibility and a boost to mental and emotional health. There are also several sample fitness videos from the National Institute on Aging to help older adults strengthen muscles , improve balance and get involved right at home.
Stress management is an important part of balanced immune systems. Studies show that chronic stress affects immune health and hampers the ability of your immune system to combat inflammation and infection.
Participating in pleasurable relaxation activities such as meditation, yoga , Tai Chi and deep breathing exercises can have positive health effects. If your loved ageing requires extra assistance with stress control, cognitive behavioral therapy may be a helpful tool for replacing negative feelings with a more optimistic outlook.
Communication is Essential
Social distancing recommendations do not have to prevent you from getting close to those you love in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak. Senior isolation can result in feelings of loneliness and depression, which can impair immune function. So find creative ways to stay connected: Call, text, or use video technology like FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom to stay in touch while keeping your loved one safe.
Get Your Sleep
Insufficient sleep can inhibit the ability of your immune system to respond to infection and inflammation. Additionally, many chronic diseases and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression are linked to sleep disorders. Insomnia is a common sleep disturbance among the elderly.
As you age, you may lose some of your sense of thirst, but adequate hydration is also key in boosting immune function. Water helps your body absorb nutrients and minerals, and flush body waste.
Drinking at least eight to nine glasses of fluid a day can help you avoid dehydration. Try offering these tips to help your aging loved one stay hydrated:
- Drink a glass of water before and after every meal, and in between snacks
- Try mixing it up with some low-fat soup, fat-free or low-fat milk, and caffeine-free tea or coffee
- Keep a water bottle nearby for sipping throughout the day
- Minimize your alochol intake.
Excessive alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections. Healthy older adults should limit alcoholic beverages to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
(Article courtesy of Fairmont Grand Senior Living.)
Kelly’s Retirement Homes are an Assisted Living Facility that honors and respects our residents and treats them with dignity. We provide the highest possible quality of compassionate care while ensuring each resident’s right to privacy and choice in their daily lives.
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