During the chillier months, seniors have a higher risk of getting the common cold. Elderly people can have a compromised immune system and be more susceptible to infections, so it is important to practice caution during cold season. Temple senior in-home care professionals recommend following these five tips to help your elderly loved one stay healthy during winter.
1. Find Ways to Exercise
Not all seniors can exercise, but even a gentle walk can help boost the immune system. Exercise can also aid in weight loss, which is important because overweight seniors have a higher risk of falling ill.
2. Practice Good Hygiene
According to research by the CDC, roughly 80 percent of colds are spread by touching an infected surface and then touching food, rubbing the eyes, or touching the mouth. Help your loved one scrub his or her hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to prevent passing on the virus.
3. Get Proper Nutrition
A strong immune system can fight off cold germs before your loved one can fall ill, but the body cannot build white blood cells without the right nutrients. Vitamin C, vitamin B6, and zinc are all particularly important. Try to ensure your loved one gets the right amount of all vitamins and minerals.
4. Clean Regularly
The viruses that spread the cold can survive outside of the human body for hours. Use a disinfecting cleaning solution to clean doorknobs, phones, remote controls, countertops, and bathroom sink knobs often. This can help prevent your loved one from accidentally coming into contact with germs.
5. Eat Probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea. These bacteria help reduce levels of harmful germs and increase overall health. A 2015 study by Dr. Qiukui Hao found daily probiotic consumption reduced a person’s risk of getting respiratory infections by 47 percent.
Getting a cold can be tiring for seniors and may make performing daily tasks more challenging. Call Home Care Assistance at 254-856-0600 to speak with a friendly Care Manager about our comprehensive senior home care. In addition to helping your loved one take steps to prevent illnesses, we also provide specialized services, including Alzheimer’s, stroke, and dementia home care Temple families can rely on. Call today to schedule a free in-home consultation.