Getting old isn’t easy. As we age, our bodies become weaker and more prone to picking up viruses. But turning to over the counter (OTC) medication isn’t always the best thing to do since it could lead to side effects.
Speaking of side effects, most seniors are already on chronic medication. Adding extra OTC meds into their system can be strenuous for their ageing body and their immune system.
Thankfully, there are many ways to boost your parents’ immune system as they age into their golden years.
Here are 5 ways to boost the immune system for seniors
#1 Smoker? The time to quit is now
Smoking is harmful to the lungs and respiratory system as a whole. Even when people are younger it poses similar risks as it would to seniors. For seniors who are smokers, it’s good to quit. The sooner the better.
With the rise of covid-19 in the past year, smoking adds to the dangers of putting their immune system in a vulnerable state. Smoking can also put seniors at risk of contracting lung inflammation and pneumonia.
#2 Eat well, live well
Eating a balanced, healthy diet goes hand-in-hand with leading a healthy lifestyle. If your senior parent lives with you, try and ensure that they are eating healthy foods. A healthy diet consists of various food groups including diary, protein, fruit, and vegetables.
They should also be getting enough fibre in their diet as well as natural probiotics to help keep their gut healthy.
#3 Keep them hydrated
Apart from eating healthy, it is also equally important to make sure that your elderly parent is hydrated. Water plays an important role in tissue repair, lubrication of joints, maintaining body functions, and body temperature.
There are many ways to help your senior loved one to stay hydrated and this includes eating food high in water content such as watermelons, cucumbers, and other citrus fruits.
Another option would be having herbal tea. Since herbal teas like rooibos contain zero caffeine and are packed with healthy antioxidants, it is perfect as a hydrating drink.
#4 Seniors need to get enough rest
Sometimes, as we age, we may not have the same sleeping patterns as we once did when we were younger. In some cases, many seniors would sleep late and wake up early, or only sleep a few hours a day.
It is important to make sure that your elderly loved one is getting enough sleep. Not only does sleep promote body and brain function, but it will also leave them rested and alert. Sleep deprivation can pose higher risks for falls.
#5 Encourage your elderly loved one to exercise
Seniors may not feel enthusiastic about exercise because it could seem tiring and even strenuous. But exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous for them. In fact, there are plenty of exercises for seniors that are comfortable and easy to perform.
Chair yoga is a good exercise for seniors.
Exercising will help to promote their blood circulation. It also improves mobility as well as balance. Exercise paired with a healthy diet is a powerful way to strengthen senior immune systems.
FAQ – Boost Your Immune System As You Get Older
- Can seniors take the flu vaccine?
Yes, seniors can have the flu vaccine. It will help improve their immune system during winter and flu season.
- At what age does your immune system weaken?
Seniors are more prone to having a weaker immune system than others. This can usually become more prominent from age 65 and older.
- Are there ways to boost senior immune systems naturally?
Yes, there are many ways to naturally strengthen senior’s immune systems. Exercise, eating healthy, getting sleep, drinking water, and spending time in nature.
- How can diabetic seniors boost their immune systems?
There are plenty of foods that help boost the immune systems of elderly diabetics. These foods include vitamin C, vitamin A (carrots), bell peppers, walnuts, and green vegetables. Eaten in proportion, it may help to improve their immune system.
- What immune systems boosting foods for seniors are there?
Berries, citrus, ginger, garlic, honey, flaxseed, spinach, yoghurt, and wholegrain are some immune system-boosting foods for the elderly.
- Can seniors take the flu vaccine?