Reduced immunity and lowered resistance mean seniors need to take extra precautions to ensure they stay healthy during winter. Taking a few simple precautionary measures can help seniors prevent minor illnesses from intensifying and can also help them recover quickly. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care in Naples, has put together this list of 5 tips that can boost immunity and help your loved one stave off illnesses during the winter months.
1. Stay Hydrated
Seniors should drink at least eight glasses of water a day, but many decrease their water intake as the weather begins to cool down, leading to the risk of dehydration. Not only does chronic dehydration weaken the immune system, it can also intensify the effects of a cold. If your loved one does not want to drink plain water, try giving him or her soda water with a lemon or lime wedge to add flavor.
2. Keep Hands Clean
Most of the germs seniors accidently ingest come from their hands. Your loved one should wash his or her hands whenever he or she shakes hands with someone, goes out in public, sneezes, coughs, or touches a doorknob. After washing his or her hands with antibacterial soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds, your loved one should dry them with disposable paper towels to reduce the number of germs and risk of infection.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Without adequate sleep, the body cannot fight off infections when it comes in contact with germs. A recent CDC report claims chronic sleep deprivation now affects over 35 percent of the adult population. If your loved one has insomnia and is unable to fall asleep easily, consider natural sleep aids such as valerian, chamomile, or melatonin.
4. Use Herbal Supplements
Nutritional supplements like zinc, echinacea, garlic, and vitamin C can boost your loved one’s immune system. While the body can get some of the required nutrition from food, it is not always able to process the food efficiently. Seniors often require additional nutritional supplements. Encourage your loved one to start taking supplements at the first sign of an illness, such as an itchy throat, sniffling, or body aches.
5. Stay Active
Light exercise can be beneficial for seniors who have been exposed to germs. Just a few minutes of moderate exercise can increase the production of lymphocytes for over 36 hours. Lymphocytes are cells that travel through the bloodstream and defend the body against viruses and bacteria.
These small changes can help boost your loved one’s immunity and stave off illnesses this winter. Home Care Assistance provides caregivers in Naples who can help your loved one take the necessary precautions to reduce his or her risk of falling ill this winter.
Our caregivers can also assist seniors with light housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation to medical appointments, exercise, and other tasks. We also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and Alzheimer’s care Naples seniors can rely on. Contact us today at (239) 449-4701 to find out more about our services and schedule a free consultation.