From having more time to explore enjoyable activities and interests to watching grandchildren grow up, there are many wonderful things people often appreciate as they get older. However, most seniors aren’t so thrilled about being more susceptible to illness than younger adults. Today, we’re going to discuss why this happens and what can be done to reduce the risk of illness for seniors.
Age-Related Weight Gain
It becomes increasingly difficult for older adults to shed unwanted pounds, usually starting around the age of 60 or so due to age-related metabolism changes. Carrying around extra weight can stress the immune system and increase the risk of developing various illnesses, including serious infections like pneumonia. Changes to diet and lifestyle habits can often balance out the changes within the body that make it more difficult to manage weight later in life.
Even when seniors follow healthy lifestyles, they’re more susceptible to illness simply as a natural result of the aging process. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of at-home care. Waterloo Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
Chronic Health Issues
According to the Canadian Survey of Experiences with Primary Health Care, older adults are nearly four times more likely to have chronic conditions than their younger counterparts. Chronic conditions that are common among seniors, such as diabetes and heart disease, can also affect the immune system and increase the odds of having additional issues with various respiratory, viral, and bacterial illnesses.
Most older adults prefer to recover from illnesses at home, and that often requires assistance. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Waterloo, ON, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
Poor Sleep Hygiene
Insomnia is fairly common in seniors. It can happen because of underlying health issues, poor sleep habits that were never corrected earlier in life, and many other possible factors. Not sleeping well, whether it’s due to insomnia or chronic sleep disturbances, increases susceptibility to illness. This is typically because being constantly tired or sleep-deprived affects the various processes within the body that maintain optimal health and wellbeing. Seniors may be able to enhance their sleep hygiene by:
• Staying active during the day to reduce daytime napping
• Sticking to a regular sleep schedule
• Seeing if medications need to be adjusted
• Creating a comfortable and relaxing sleep environment
• Seeking treatment for insomnia or sources of sleep interruption, which might include sleep apnea
It’s more common for seniors to have mobility limitations due to underlying health issues, such as arthritis, that often affect mobility. Being less mobile increases the risk of illness because of the odds of gaining weight and weakening core muscle groups. Appropriate modifications such as water-based forms of exercise can allow seniors with mobility difficulties to still benefit from regular activity.
Untreated Mental Health Issues
Seniors with untreated mental health issues have an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and other health-related conditions and illnesses. Be proactive about looking for signs of unusual behavioral changes in your loved one so depression and similar mental health disorders can be properly treated.
Immune System Changes
A reduction in the production of B and T cells in bone marrow makes an aging immune system less capable of being able to handle new challenges, which increases the risk of illness. The good news is an aging immune system can receive a boost with efforts involving:
• Doing moderate forms of exercise such as swimming and daily walking
• Drinking more water
• Managing stress
• Eating fruits, veggies, fatty fish, and other foods that boost the immune system
If your loved one needs help exercising and preparing nutritious meals, hiring a professional caregiver can be a wonderful solution. Home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (519) 954-2111.