What Makes Seniors More Susceptible to Getting Sick?

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Aging adults may be more prone to illness than younger people. While preexisting health disorders and side effects from medications can contribute to frequent illness among elderly people, the natural aging process may also play a significant role. Here are some reasons your elderly loved one may get sick easily and what you can do to help him or her prevent frequent illness.

Impaired Renal Function

Renal function diminishes with age. When the kidneys aren’t as effective at removing toxins from the body as they once were, the risk for illness rises. Impaired renal function in elderly people may be the result of diabetes, high blood pressure, or medication side effects. If your loved one develops swelling of the face, abdomen, or extremities, has a poor appetite or changes in urinary output, or sleeps more than normal, make an appointment with his or her doctor. These symptoms may be indicative of renal disease and need to be treated as soon as possible.

Limited Mobility

Elderly people with limited mobility are often unable to get regular exercise. When your loved one is unable to exercise, the potential for frequent illnesses may rise. Getting sick as a result of too little exercise may be the result of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and impaired immunity. Exercise boosts immune function, and when aging adults are unable to exercise, they may be more susceptible to colds and flu as well as diseases of the endocrine, cardiovascular, renal, and respiratory systems. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about recommending a physical therapist who can come to the home and help your loved one work on increasing mobility. 

If your loved one has mobility limitations that make it difficult to get enough exercise, a professional caregiver can be an outstanding source of support. In Green Valley, 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.

Poor Nutrition

As people age, their appetites sometimes decrease, which may be related to a lower activity level, side effects from medications, cognitive deficits, or chronic illness. If your loved one is unable to consume enough nutrient-dense foods, he or she may become deficient in vitamins and minerals. When this happens, he or she may be unable to fight off infections and, as a result, get sick easily. If your loved one has a poor appetite, talk to his or her doctor about supplementing with a multivitamin to increase essential immune-boosting nutrients, which may lower the risk for infections. 

If your loved one has health conditions that make it difficult to prepare nutritious meals, a professional caregiver can be a fantastic asset. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Green Valley, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Depression

Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety are common in aging adults. Severe or untreated depression may have negative effects on your loved one’s immunity, raising the risk for frequent illness. Depression can stem from the loss of a spouse or beloved pet, loneliness, loss of independence, medication side effects, chronic pain, and even nutritional deficiencies. If your loved one seems depressed or anxious, make an appointment with his or her doctor for a complete medical and psychological examination. Once mood disorders are recognized and effectively treated, your loved one’s immune system may become stronger, lowering the risk for getting sick.

The natural effects of aging make seniors more vulnerable to illness, even if they lead healthy lifestyles. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of in-home care. Green Valley 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. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at 520-625-2050.