Tips for Seniors: Boosting the Immune System
This week’s article is dedicated to the hardworking staff in all long-term rehabilitation and care facilities. In the light of the sensitive situation in the world, let’s focus on how we can succeed in boosting the immune system. Three cheers for seniors and their families who focus on boosting their immune system!
Begin Boosting the Immune System Now
For seniors, boosting the immune system is an important project. The immune system can be severely affected through the natural aging process. Additionally, some of us pay dearly in our senior years for things that we indulged in previously. Smoking, substance abuse, overeating, or not having exercised, can take a toll on a senior person’s health.
Nevertheless, all is not lost! It is never too late to improve one’s attitude to health! Sweep aside any guilty feelings, as these can also affect a person’s well-being.
Instead, put your healthy-thinking cap on, and take note of ways that you can boost your immune system.
Activities of Daily Living – Independence for Seniors
Seniors hold their freedom very dear, fiercely guarding their independence.
The Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are the things that people do for themselves on a daily basis. This includes activities such as dressing oneself, personal hygiene, eating, and moving from place to place.
One of the main benefits of boosting the immune system, is avoiding infection which weakens a person. By staying healthy, a senior person hopes to retain as much independence as possible.
8 Major Ways to Boost the Immune System
There many ways to boost the immune system. That means, that anyone who wants to work on boosting the immune system can pick an choose. Let’s qualify that statement: a senior should be in touch with their doctor or nutritionist to approve any changes.
Here are a range of ideas for immune system support and improvement:
This includes eating:
- Plenty of fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, including blueberries, citrus fruit, mushroom, broccoli, sweet potatoes
- Foods containing Omega-3, such as oily fish and lovely low-fat almonds
- Spices and herbs such as: Fenugreek, garlic, cayenne, chilies, oregano, and turmeric
- Whole grains, since these help the digestion system work well. This is one way of keeping the whole body healthy.
- Foods containing probiotics – such as yogurt or pickled cucumbers
- Other foods with a good healthy reputation: coconut oil, green tea, chicken soup, certain types of dark chocolate
Drinking sufficient water
Drinking water is another practice that keeps the whole body healthy. You must discuss with your doctor how much water is sufficient for you personally to drink.
Water companies would, of course, tout drinking water as something amazing. This is one case where we say “Let yourself be convinced.”
(Please note: This article is not endorsing any one product or company over another.)
Taking nutritional supplements will vary specifically from person to person. It is much more than popping a multi vitamin every day. B12 for example, is known to boost the immune system. Vitamins C and E and other B vitamins are helpful too. Discuss this with your doctor or nutritionist.
Exercise means different things for each person. Some example of exercise are going for a walk outdoors, or going for a walk indoors. Chair yoga is good for the wheelchair-bound. Yoga can even be performed in bed, which is good news for those who are confined to bed. Look out for a certified yoga teacher.
Stretches, breathing exercises and the now popular tai chi are all good forms of gentle exercise.
Seniors who have been prescribed prescription medicines, should make sure to keep on top of the schedule. Taking each medicine at the right time, in the right dosage, keeps illness at bay.
Stay in contact with your doctor if you feel the medicine is not working as it should be. Sometimes the doctor has to adjust the dose or type of medication.
Over the counter (OTC) medication should really be approved by a doctor, if a senior is taking it. The main reasons for this, is that there can be:
- interactions between types of medication
- side effects from OTC medication
Sleep glorious sleep
Sleeping enough can help give your immune system the reinforcement it needs. For many of us, sleeping sufficiently does not cost money, but it does demand self-control.
Doctors recommend 7 hours of sleep a night. Seniors can take this in 2 or more ‘doses’, by adding short naps in the day time. However, the main sleep should be during the night hours.
This may sound easier said than done. However, we can all pick out some way to destress that will also be enjoyable. Reducing stress allows the body to work at its best. Without emotional pressure, the blood flows better, we think better and we digest our food better.
Some ideas to de-stress:
- Praying and meditation in accordance with a person’s beliefs.
- Make a home-made foot spa, by adding fragrant oils to a large bowl of warm water. Soak your bare feet in the spa for 15 minutes, pat dry and rub in a nourishing moisturizer.
- Listen to calming music.
- Socialize in accordance with your health, by meeting friends or talking over the phone. Use Skype or Facetime to chat with friends and family who are separated by distance.
- Practice listing items of gratitude, things you are grateful for in your life.
There are many home remedies for keeping well. Seniors know all about this. Grandprents have always expressed a lot of wisdom!
While some home remedies are looked at as being controversial, many are harmless. One of my harmless favorites, is keeping half an onion next to your bed, if you can bear the smell.
There are lists of natural items that act as antibiotics, those that remedy bloating and gas, and ideas for using herbs.
Each person should ask their doctor before attempting new things. Make a note of things that you have tried and any that got a thumbs up from you. If it works one time, it will likely be useful again.
Adjusting the Diet, Ability to Swallow
People who have difficulty chewing or swallowing might need to adjust they way they eat fruit and vegetables. Many fruit and vegetables can be diced or pureed while fresh. Otherwise, they can be cooked and pureed.
Eating small mouthfuls and chewing food properly will help avoid the danger of choking or aspiration.
The Senior Advantage: Outlook on Life
It is true that seniors need to take more care with their physical health. The immune system may need more boosting and continuous efforts to stay healthy.
Yet, seniors have a great advantage. They have seen much in their lives; they know that things come and go. It may take time but almost every challenge will pass. Seniors know this through their personal experiences. Challenges crop up, and many times challenges pass, and we get stronger again.
Boosting the immune system takes time and effort. Yet through this effort, we will hope to come out the other end of the challenge, healthy and more aware. Wishing you the best of health!
Photo by Hans Vivek on Unsplash
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