A person’s immune system is responsible for keeping his body healthy and protecting him against viruses, germs, and bacteria. While the immune system is precisely that, a complex system that requires balance and harmony, there are steps your parent can take in his life to give his immune system the support it needs while it battles the foreign invaders that try to enter his body on a daily basis.
Eat a nutrient-rich diet.
For many seniors, their bodies begin to lack certain essential nutrients to help them combat illnesses. This may be because they’re not eating as much as they used to, or it could be a matter of poor food selections. As a senior, every calorie consumed should have a purpose. Have your home care provider help your parent when he shops to pick up foods that are both nutritious and delicious. It might also be helpful for your parent to keep a food log to help him stay on track with eating the right foods.
Get plenty of sleep.
While the body sleeps, the immune system can work without any “interruptions.” The body has time to repair the damage done and the brain gets a slight rest from all the input coming at it all day. Encourage your parent to keep a regular sleep schedule, even if he doesn’t have early morning appointments anymore. Short naps during the day can also be helpful for a bit of restoration, but they need to be kept short so that they don’t interfere with the longer, more restorative night-time sleep.
Exercise every day.
Regular exercise of at least 30 minutes, five times a week, is an important pillar of a healthy lifestyle. It strengthens muscles, provides flexibility, eases stiff joints, and elevates mood. All of these are important aspects of your parent’s health and immune system. A home care aid can help encourage exercise by providing a ride to the place your parent likes to exercise at (like a local park for a walk) or even joining your parent on his walk. Sometimes having an accountability partner is a great motivator.
Reduce chronic stress.
While we all experience stressful moments in life, a person under chronic stress or pain, is more apt to have a compromised immune system. An immune system not working at its best may not be able to release as many antibodies that are needed to battle an invading virus or bacteria. If your parent is feeling continually stressed by something, see if you can help find a way to relieve that stress in his life. If a messy home that he can’t keep up with gives him stress, hiring a home care provider to help around the home may help alleviate that stress.
Introduce herbs and supplements.
Talk with your doctor if there are vitamins, herbs, or supplements that your parent can take to help his body boost its immune system. Some dieticians recommend increasing Vitamin C, B6, and E to boost the immune system in various ways. Your parent can try this through supplements or the food he eats.
A healthy immune system will not prevent every cold or virus from occurring, but it will help your parent recover more quickly even when he does come down with something.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Woodbury, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Attentive Care Inc. at 1-800-493-5660