Our immune systems protect us from a number of potentially harmful toxins, from common cold germs to cancer cells. As we age, our immune systems weaken, especially when faced with changes in climate or environment, such as moving to a new state or into an assisted living facility. Maintaining your immune system’s strength can prevent many senior health issues and keep you feeling your best, no matter your age. Take a look at these five ways to give your immune system a beneficial boost.
It’s important to eat well for numerous reasons, but your immune system will benefit from a healthy diet too. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in plant-based foods and low in saturated fats is a simple way to keep your immune system and the rest of your body in top shape. Vitamin deficiencies can also have an impact on your immune health so make sure you bolster your diet with supplements you may not be getting through your everyday meals.
Seniors often need more sleep than they once did in their middle-age years. Getting at least eight hours of shut-eye a night is optimal for immune health. If you find you are unable to sleep for that length of time each night, try taking small naps during the day. Even a small change in sleeping habits can mean a big difference for your immune system.
More germs are spread through shared objects, such as doorknobs, faucets and countertops, than you might imagine so make sure to wash or sanitize your hands often. For those seniors living in assisted living homes, this is especially important. Contracting an illness like the flu can worsen existing senior health issues so it’s crucial to avoid germs and prevent a compromise of your immune system.
One of the major benefits of physical activity is its ability to improve your immune health. Many senior care services offer wellness options, such as group exercise classes, yoga and other activities to get you up and moving on a regular basis. Even a daily walk can help keep you healthy by stimulating the production of antibodies and white blood cells, which fight off bacteria and viruses.
Stress is a natural part of life for everyone, including seniors. Health concerns, family dynamics and living environment are just a few of the common factors that can cause stress in a senior’s day to day life. However, too much stress can lead to a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses and other health issues. To reduce tension and keep your immune system strong, remember to take the time to de-stress each day. Reading a book, playing a game with a friend, going for a peaceful walk and journaling are all wonderful ways to relieve stress and help you relax.
Though a weakening immune system is a natural part of the aging process, there are ways to offset this decline in immune health. With these simple steps, you can keep your immune system strong so it can keep you healthy.
If you are ready to look into senior care services for you or a loved one, the Village at Oakwood provides caring living assistance for the elderly in Oklahoma City. Contact us and learn about our individualized services, designed to meet all your needs.