Easy Ways Older Adults Can Boost Their Immune Systems

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With age, the immune system weakens. As a result, seniors often experience more frequent occurrences of colds, flu, and pneumonia than the average healthy adult. If you provide care for a senior loved one, suggest some of these tips to naturally boost his or her 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. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Lifestar Home Care, a leading provider of elder care. Lifestar Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

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

Seniors 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.

Increase Exercise

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. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Lifestar Home Care, a leading provider of Home Care Oklahoma City families can trust. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. 

Stop Bacteria

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 into 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. Getting all the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy mind and body is as easy as taking a daily vitamin/mineral supplement. Check with your loved one’s 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. Oklahoma City 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 Lifestar Home Care if you need compassionate professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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