Advancing age doesn’t automatically mean your senior loved one will get sick easily. However, there are several factors that may raise his or her risk. Here are some of the most common reasons aging adults get sick easily and how you can help your loved one stay healthy.
1. Effects of Diabetes
Older adults may have a more difficult time controlling blood sugar levels than younger people, and they may be faced with frequent bouts of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Fluctuations in glucose levels can make seniors get sick easily as a result of nausea, heart palpitations, fever, weakness, profuse sweating, and fatigue. If your loved one has diabetes, make sure he or she monitors blood glucose frequently, follows a therapeutic diabetic diet, takes all prescribed medications, and visits the doctor on a regular basis. These interventions can ensure your loved one stays healthy.
If your loved one is living with the challenges of managing diabetes, a professional caregiver can be a fantastic asset. 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 Colorado Springs, CO, 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.
2. Certain Prescription Medications
If your loved one takes prednisone, a corticosteroid, for a breathing problem or to reduce inflammation, he or she may get sick more often. Corticosteroids can raise the risk for certain infections, which is one of the reasons they aren’t recommended for long-term use. Other medications that may suppress immune function include anti-rejection drugs. These medications are used to prevent rejection after an organ transplant. If your loved one takes any of these medications, make sure he or she sees the doctor regularly.
3. Sedentary Lifestyle
Regular exercise is essential for healthy immune function, and when seniors aren’t active, they may get sick easily. Encourage your loved one to engage in some type of daily physical activity. If he or she is in ill health or lives with chronic pain, exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous. A leisurely walk or even a few leg lifts, arm raises, or ankle rolls can get the blood pumping to the vital organs so the immune system benefits from increased circulation. If you’re uncomfortable suggesting exercises for your loved one, ask his or her physician for a referral to a physical or occupational therapist, who can devise an exercise program suited to your loved one’s abilities.
If your loved one needs assistance to exercise safely, hiring a professional caregiver can be a wonderful solution. In Colorado Springs, home care 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.
4. Depression and Anxiety
While almost everyone experiences an occasional bout of anxiety or depression, seniors may be more susceptible to these mental health issues because of decreased independence, illness, visual impairment, or the loss of a loved one. Prolonged anxiety and depression can lead to insomnia, which may suppress immunity, causing your loved one to get sick easily. If your loved one seems anxious or depressed, see his or her healthcare provider to perform both a physical examination and a psychological evaluation. Depending on the findings, the doctor can develop a plan of care to treat your loved one’s mood disorder. Once the anxiety or depression has faded, your loved one may enjoy a boost in immune function. To further reduce the incidence of mood disorders, make sure your loved one gets plenty of fresh air and natural sunlight so his or her body can manufacture adequate amounts of vitamin D. It’s thought that vitamin D deficiencies raise the risk for depression, seasonal affective disorder, insomnia, and anxiety.
5. Financial Instability
While not a medical reason, financial instability may cause aging adults to get sick more often. If your loved one is unable to buy nutritious foods or turn up the heat or run the air conditioner in the home, he or she may get sick. Also, many seniors don’t have enough money to get prescriptions filled, so they go without or split their pills. In addition, seniors who are no longer able to drive may not be able to afford a taxi or rideshare transportation, and doctor appointments may be missed, raising the risk for frequent illness. Monitor your loved one’s financial situation, and if you notice he or she is facing financial difficulties, offer to help if you can.
The natural effects of aging make seniors more vulnerable to illness, even if they lead a healthy lifestyle. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care services. Colorado Springs 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. Call Home Care Assistance at (719) 822-1229 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.