There are many things to appreciate about getting older, but being more prone to illness isn’t one of them. If you regularly care for a senior loved one, one of the things likely to be on your to-do list is managing or preventing illness as much as possible. Here’s a closer look at reasons the elderly tend to be more prone to illness and the steps you can take to keep your loved one healthy.
1. Higher Instances of Chronic Conditions
The National Council on Aging reports more than 90 percent of aging adults have at least one chronic condition. Living with a chronic condition naturally increases the risk of experiencing related health issues. Problems related to chronic conditions in seniors may be minimized by:
• Following doctor recommendations
• Getting regular exercise
• Ditching lifestyle habits that tend to make chronic conditions worse, like unhealthy eating habits, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption
2. Immune Systems Affected by Age
According to the National Institutes of Health, seniors don’t respond as well to immune system challenges because of the way the immune system naturally changes with age. As a result, they’re more prone to illnesses, especially ones related to seasonal viruses. Help your loved one boost his or her immune system as much as possible with:
• Fresh fruits and vegetables and other immune system–friendly foods
• Regular sleep
• Stress management
• Moderate exercise
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 senior home care. Mesa 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.
3. Undiagnosed Mental Health Issues
More than 15 percent of adults 60 and older live with some type of mental illness, according to the World Health Organization. Problems of this nature often go undiagnosed in the elderly. Pay attention to unusual changes in mood and behavior so your loved one can receive proper treatment if he or she is showing signs of having a mental illness.
Many seniors have a higher risk of experiencing health issues due to insufficient nutrition. This sometimes happens because of changes in how flavors are perceived or because of physical issues with chewing, swallowing, or the ability to prepare regular meals. Watch your loved one’s eating habits and make appropriate adjustments to help him or her enjoy nutritious meals.
If your loved one needs help shopping for healthy foods 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.
5. Decrease in Physical Fitness
Some older adults shift to more sedentary lifestyles over time. What a lack of physical fitness can do is increase the susceptibility to both physical and mental illnesses. Even mild forms of exercise like regular walking and water-based activities can boost overall health and wellbeing.
6. Surgery-Related Issues
Surgical complication rates tend to be higher among older adults. If your loved one goes through a prolonged post-surgery healing and recovery process, he or she will likely be more susceptible to various illnesses. Careful monitoring and appropriate care after surgery may minimize this risk.
7. Being Around Other Seniors in Close Quarters
Many older adults reach a point where they weigh their options between staying at home or living at a nursing home or similar long-term care facility. While many nursing homes do their best to keep residents safe, being in close quarters with other seniors and staff members increases the risk of exposure to various illnesses. One solution worth considering that can minimize this risk is in-home care.
Most older adults prefer to recover from illness 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 Mesa, AZ, 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. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (480) 699-4899 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.