10 effective ways to Improve Immune System Health in Elderly Adults :
A strong immune system is essential for good health because it aids in the fight against infections and illnesses. As you get older, your immune system weakens and becomes less effective at fighting infections.
The good news is that a healthy lifestyle, combined with healthy living strategies, can improve immune health, allowing you to prevent and fight disease more effectively. Learn about 10 essential immune boosters for seniors and how they can strengthen their immune system.
Below are the 10 effective ways to improve immune system health in elderly adults
Here's what you can do if you're over the age of 65 to boost your immune system and avoid the flu and its complications:
See also: How you can boost your immune system
1. Wash your hands
Handwashing thoroughly and frequently can help prevent the spread of disease-causing germs from one person to the next. Before rinsing with water, lather your hands with soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Handwashing is advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Prior to, during, and after food preparation
- Following a trip to the restroom
- Before and after caring for a sick person
- After you've blown your nose, coughed, or sneezed,
2. Get vaccinated
Getting vaccinated is the single most effective way to avoid coronavirus infection and the seasonal flu. Both viruses can cause serious complications, including hospitalization and death, in older people.
COVID-19 vaccines are now available in all states, with people 65 and older receiving priority. Many senior living communities have begun to vaccinate their residents. Most state public health websites have information on where to get the vaccine, and there are numerous advantages to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
The senior flu shot is a vaccine that is only available to people over the age of 65. Because seniors' immune systems deteriorate with age, the flu shot helps their bodies fight the flu virus more effectively than the standard flu shot.
3. Eat well-balanced meals
A healthy diet is essential for maintaining a strong immune system. Your nutritional needs and eating habits may change as you age for a variety of reasons. However, in addition to a weakened immune system, poor nutrition or malnutrition can harm heart health, lead to type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, and weaken bones and muscles.
A well-balanced diet includes a variety of vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and protein foods of various types. To strengthen immune system health, the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends including foods high in the following nutrients. Here are some of the most important immune-boosting foods for seniors:
- Seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, beans, and peas are all good sources of protein.
- Vitamin A-rich foods include sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and spinach.
- Citrus fruits, strawberries, and certain cereals are high in vitamin C.
- Almonds, hazelnuts, and peanut butter are high in vitamin E.
- Zinc-rich foods include lean meats, poultry, milk, whole grain products, and beans.
4. Stay active
Physical activity on a regular basis can help older adults maintain their strength, independence, and health. But did you know that seniors can benefit from exercise to strengthen their immune systems?
Every week, the US Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise. Encourage your elderly loved ones to participate in enjoyable activities that are appropriate for their fitness level. A 10-minute walk around the block, for example, could be a good place to start. Yoga and Tai Chi are also beneficial activities for increasing flexibility and improving mental and emotional health. Yes2Next, a fitness-inspired YouTube channel for seniors, has a plethora of sample workout videos to assist older adults in strengthening muscles, improving balance, and getting active at home.
5. Reduce stress levels
Stress management is an important part of how seniors can strengthen their immune systems. According to the American Institute of Stress, chronic stress has a negative impact on immune health and impairs your immune system's ability to fight inflammation and infections. Participating in relaxing activities, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can be beneficial to one's health. Many mental health apps have become popular for reducing stress, anxiety, and other symptoms. Some apps are specifically designed to help you sleep better, keep track of your mood, or manage depression or PTSD. If stress is interfering with your daily life, see a geriatrician or a mental health professional.
6. Connect with others
feeling close to those you care about. Senior isolation can result in feelings of loneliness and depression, which can impair immune health. It’s important to find creative ways to stay connected. Stay in touch by calling, texting, or using video technology such as FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom to ensure your and your loved one's safety.
7. Get plenty of sleep
sleep may impair your immune system's ability to fight infection and inflammation. Furthermore, sleep disorders are frequently linked to a variety of chronic diseases and conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. ep you from having a close relationship
common sleep disorder in the elderly. If simple lifestyle changes like staying physically active, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and limiting caffeine do not help, your loved one may need to seek medical attention. cient sleep could
8. Stay hydrated
Social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus outbreak do not have to keInsuf Dehydration is frequently associated with a variety of health problems in the elderly. Adequate hydration is an important immune booster for the elderly. Water aids in the absorption of nutrients and minerals, as well as the elimination of waste.
Avoid dehydration by drinking at least eight to nine glasses of fluid per day. To assist your aging loved one in staying hydrated, try incorporating the following three suggestions: Insomnia is a medical condition:
- Drink a glass of water before and after each meal and snack.
- Try it with some fat-free or low-fat soup, fat-free or low-fat milk, and caffeine-free tea or coffee.
- Keep a water bottle nearby to sip throughout the day.
9. Minimize alcohol intake
Excessive alcohol consumption can wreak havoc on your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. According to the CDC, healthy older adults should limit their alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
10. Quit smoking
Tobacco use weakens the immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight colds, flu, and other viruses such as the coronavirus. It also raises your chances of developing a variety of other health issues, such as heart disease, respiratory problems, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes. Encourage your elderly loved one to quit smoking as soon as possible. If you require additional assistance, speak with your loved one's doctor or a family member.
Final thoughts on how to improve immune system health in elderly adults
For people 65 and older, the flu is a potentially dangerous virus. It is critical that you take steps to strengthen your immune system in order to avoid catching a cold or the flu.
However, influenza is not always preventable, so see a doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms. Antivirals taken within the first 48 hours of infection may reduce the severity of the infection and symptoms.