Old age is a time when people expect they will get to rest. However, some seniors realize that old age is no time to rest. The worry about things you didn’t get right and expectations they couldn’t satisfy. The worst for most people is the health challenges that come with old age.
The immune system of older people is as weak as that of babies. Their immune system is very fragile. They constantly have to visit medical facilities for one reason or another. We will be looking at possible ways to help older people boost their immunity so they can stay healthy.
1. Stay Hydrated
Water, they say, is life. According to experts, you must drink at least 11-16 cups of water daily. This is one of the top things older people should do to stay healthy. Water helps build your immunity. Staying hydrated also helps your digestive system absorb nutrients better.
The good thing is you do not have to drink plain water to stay hydrated. Coconut water is another good means of hydration. In fact, high-electrolyte drinks are a great substitute for plain water.
There are a lot of advantages you derive from staying hydrated. So, older people must always keep a bottle of water with them.
2. See a Primary Care Doctor
Seeing a doctor regularly is an important part of maintaining a healthy body to detect and treat illness and boost immunity. You can easily check out health facilities around your area by searching “primary care offices near me” and book an appointment.
Regular appointments with your physician can involve screenings such as vaccinations or blood tests that monitor vital signs like cholesterol levels. These can be used to inform decisions on how to maintain and promote your health.
Additionally, during medical visits, you can discuss concerns such as stress levels and diet changes that could help manage conditions related to or impacting your immune system.
By having these conversations now instead of waiting for symptoms of a weak immune system, you are better positioned to take proactive steps for the long-term health of yourself or your family.
3. Exercise Regularly
The older you get, the more likely you are to avoid exercise. This should not be the case. It would help if you exercised to keep your body active. Lack of activity will make you feel weak and your system less active.
While we do not expect older adults to engage in strenuous exercises, they should still engage in non-strenuous exercises.
Some exercises they can engage in include:
- Brisk walking
You should find any of the exercises you are most comfortable with and engage in them. Do not stress yourself trying to do more than your body will allow. You can talk to a doctor in the nearest doctor’s office about what exercise is best for you.
4. Have Good Sleeping Habits
Getting enough sleep is very important at every stage of one’s life. As you grow older, sleep becomes more important.
As an adult, you must have at least six hours of sleep to rest properly and function well. A good sleeping habit can help your brain function better and improve your concentration and memory.
A bad sleeping habit, on the other hand, can cause different types of issues. It can tire you the whole day, causing headaches, depression, and fatigue.
You might want to stay awake to complete one or two tasks, but it’s pretty clear that the effects exceed its advantages.
Here are a few methods you can use to improve the quality of your sleep:
- Turn off all your lights. Sleeping in a dark room helps you relax better. Your brain also releases a particular hormone called Melatonin when the room is dark. This hormone is responsible for putting you to sleep.
- Ensure you prepare your sleeping area ahead of time. Make sure it is quiet, comfortable, relaxed, and clean.
- Have a regular bedtime routine. Always ensure you go to sleep at a particular time and wake up at a specific time. Once your body gets used to this routine, you will find that your sleep is deep and relaxing.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol during the day, as this will disturb your sleeping schedule.
- If you have insomnia, you must talk to a doctor as soon as possible to find a solution and trace the primary source of the problem.
5. Avoid Stress
Chronic stress can only have adverse effects on the body. When your body is under stress, it secretes a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol helps to manage stress but reduces other bodily functions.
The most prevalent is hyperglycemia. Cortisol raises blood sugar levels by releasing glucose into the bloodstream. Having high cortisol levels may contribute to type 2 diabetes risks.
Likewise, high cortisol levels may decrease immunity. This state makes you vulnerable to infections and diseases. It is impossible to avoid stress altogether, but you can manage it in the following ways:
- Engage in activities you enjoy. Specifically, the ones that help you relax. Such as reading, gardening, praying, etc
- Meditate more often
- Avoid unnecessary stressful activities
- See a therapist
The chemicals in cigarettes can cause damage to lung tissue. They are making the body susceptible to lung cancer.
Smoking also limits your immune response. People who smoke quickly get respiratory illnesses, such as the flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
To improve your immune system, you should take the necessary steps to reduce smoking till the point you stop entirely.
You can try using cessation aids like nicotine patches or going to a support group, or trying therapy. You can also seek medical help to get medications that help to reduce cigarette cravings.
Spend Time Outdoors
I’m sure you are wondering how staying outdoors can benefit your health. Spending time outdoors has many health benefits.
- It helps reduce stress levels. Taking time to appreciate nature can help you relax and distract you from your many problems
- Direct access to vitamin D. It is advisable to receive vitamin D when the sun is not so hot to prevent sunburn.
- Vitamin D can strengthen the immune system, prevent inflammation, and prevent certain kinds of infections.
Get a Flu Shot
Everyone, especially the elderly, needs to get vaccinated against the flu. It is the best way you can protect yourself from this infection.
Getting a flu shot every year can reduce the risk of older adults getting a severe flu infection. This reduces the amount of hospitalized older adults with flu infections.
Types of Flu Vaccines
- Fluzone High- Doze and Fluad Quadrivalent: for adults aged 65 and older
- Fluzone High-Doze contains more antigens than the regular vaccine. It makes you have more antigens, and this gives you higher immunity.
- Flaud Quadrivalent: contains MF59 adjuvant. It boosts immune response and creates antibodies capable of preventing you from flu.
- Does immunity decrease with old age?
Yes, as you get older your immune health declines. This decline occurs naturally. You can only take care of yourself to ensure the decline doesn’t affect you adversely. The tips provided in this article will help you control this decline
- What boosts immunity the most?
There is no specific thing that boosts immunity. You only make some healthy life changes, which will be enough. Making the right lifestyle choices is the only way you can boost your immunity.
- What weakens the immune system?
Several things reduce immunity in the body, such as not eating a healthy diet, bad sleeping patterns, high-stress levels, and so on. It is a very gradual and continuous process. Older people are advised to shun all things that will lead to a quick decline in their immunity.
Living a healthy lifestyle allows you to live much longer. That is why having a strong immune system in your later years is important. It keeps you well-protected from illnesses and infections.
If you’re looking to live well into your later years, spend a good portion of your youth taking care of yourself. Exercise more, eat a healthy diet, quit smoking and drinking, and practice better stress management.
You must know where the nearest doctor’s office is. You also want to be faithful with your doctor visits. Overall, you’d be much healthier and happier if you take the extra steps to safeguard your immunity.