With age, immune systems become weaker. As a result, seniors often experience more frequent occurrences of colds, flu, and pneumonia than the average healthy adult. If you care for a senior loved one, try some of these tips to help him or her naturally boost the immune system and prevent illness.
Follow a Healthy Diet
The best diet for optimum health is one that’s low in saturated fat and includes plenty of fresh fruits, leafy green vegetables, and lean protein. Diets rich in antioxidants, folic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids prevent a myriad of diseases, cancers, and other age-related health concerns.
A home caregiver can help your loved one prepare nutritious meals. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Eat Plenty of Garlic & Onions
Garlic and onions are nutritional powerhouses, and scientists have been studying their bacteria-fighting properties for several years. Bumping up their daily intake of these healthy foods can support seniors’ immune systems and general health. Add garlic and onions to salads, sautéed veggies, soups, or sauces.
When garlic is chewed, crushed, or chopped, it forms a compound known as allicin, which has been found to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. If your loved one doesn’t like the flavor, try a garlic supplement instead. A 2001 study published in Advances in Therapy found participants who took a daily garlic supplement had a 63 percent reduction in colds compared to those who took a placebo.
Spice Things Up with Ginger
Your parent should also try to eat ginger regularly, especially during cold and flu season. Ginger is both an antioxidant and a natural antibiotic that kills many viruses. You can make fresh ginger root tea or include ginger in your loved one’s meals to add an extra bit of flavor. Other immunity-enhancing items to add to your loved one’s diet include horseradish, cayenne pepper, habanero peppers, and apple cider vinegar.
Exercise is good for the body at any age. There are many benefits of exercise for seniors in particular, like increased bone density, but getting a daily dose of moderate exercise can also keep the body’s immune system humming along at peak efficiency.
A professional caregiver can help your loved one exercise at home in safety and comfort. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Boca Raton, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Take a few extra measures to destroy bacteria. Make sure your loved one washes his or her hands and face with mild antibacterial soap, keeps hand sanitizer handy for when washing isn’t an option, and uses an antibacterial cleaner regularly around the home on kitchen and bathroom surfaces as well as other surfaces he or she regularly comes in contact with.
Take a Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement
Despite your loved one’s best efforts to get proper nutrition through his or her diet, there are almost always going to be some gaps in nutritional intake. Ensuring your loved one is getting all the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy mind and body is as easy as making sure he or she takes a daily vitamin/mineral supplement. Check with his or her physician before starting any new supplements.
Boosting the immune system helps seniors prevent illnesses such as the flu and pneumonia, which can lead to more significant health issues. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Boca Raton seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (561) 826.9282 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.