Here’s how old people can boost their immunity

  • Feb 03 , 2017

It’s a fact of life that as we grow older, our immune system doesn’t work quite the way it used to. The body’s immunity is what protects us from catching common viruses that are making the rounds, as well as developing more serious health conditions such as cancer and pneumonia. After years of fending off influenza and other infectious diseases, the immune system gradually starts to lose its oomph for fighting infection. As a result, viruses, bacteria and other microbial intruders are a common killer of adults who are 65 and above.

Vaccinations to be taken:

  • Influenza: Early fall is the best time of the year to get your annual flu vaccination. Most experts advise older adults to be vaccinated in late-September or early-October to get protection from flu.
  • Pneumonia: In most cases, you will only need to receive pneumonia vaccination once in your lifetime. If you have received it when you were under the age of 55, however, your physician may want you to repeat the vaccination in later years.


    Photo Courtesy: The Huffington Post

     
  • Shingles: Older adults, especially those with chronic health conditions, are at higher risk for shingles. If you had chicken pox as a child, you are also at increased risk.
  • Tdap: Your physician may also recommend Tdap vaccine to protect you from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, especially if you are around infants and small children on a regular basis. The vaccine is typically administered every ten years.

Other than vaccination, here are some of the following ways you can help your loved ones fight cold and flu in their old age:

  • Healthy diet - Older people eat less and have less variety in their diets. Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and zinc are essential for good health. So is maintaining low-sugar, low-fat diet that incorporates whole grains and lean proteins.
  • Regular exercising - Regular physical activity promotes circulation and heart health, and relaxes the body and mind. Walking, cycling, yoga and other forms of exercise help boost seniors’ immune system and keep infections away.
  • Try to reduce stress - Stress brings along a number of illnesses with it. Problems like stomach problems and heart disease. Whether it’s social stress, isolation or another form, stress can suppress seniors’ immune system, making them more susceptible to viruses.
  • Taking multivitamins – By increasing nutrients in the diet, older people can fight infections. Don’t forget to talk to the doctor before adding multivitamins or herbs, such as ginseng or probiotics to your regime.
  • Proper sleep – Sleep is one of the best immune system boosters. Sleep helps in responding better to stress and inflammation. It also improves our response to the flu vaccine.
  • Stay hydrated – older people senseless thirst that younger people. But they need at least 8-9 glasses of fluid a day to keep mucous membranes moist, which lowers the chances of flu or colds.