The warm weather invites people to spend more time in public places, which means an increased risk of exposure to pathogens. Although the senior population is more susceptible to viruses, proper planning and precautions may prevent an older adult from developing a communicable disease. The following recommendations will help seniors stay safe and healthy.
Practice Hand Hygiene
Frequent hand washing, especially before eating or touching your face, can prevent the spread of communicable diseases like colds and stomach viruses. Washing hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds after touching door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, or using the bathroom is ideal. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Since frequent hand washing and sanitizing can dry skin, keep a cream or lotion nearby to restore moisture.
A 2019 research review uncovered the power of exercise—moderate intensity exercise can stimulate cellular immunity by increasing the circulation of immune cells in the body. What does this mean? If seniors regularly take a brisk 20-minute walk, swim laps, or do chair yoga, their bodies have more time to prepare for a future infection by detecting it earlier.
Get Enough Sleep
During sleep, the body is hard at work repairing damaged cells and developing immunity. Seniors’ brain health, circulatory system, metabolism, and ability to fight diseases heavily weighs on adequate sleep. According to the National Institute on Aging, the average older adult should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
The immune system is supported by a healthy diet, rich in numerous vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, D, C, zinc, and calcium. The general rule of thumb is to eat the rainbow! Seniors who have a varied diet consisting of proteins, fruit, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and seeds are less likely to experience nutrition gaps. Healthy eating can taste great, too, when prepared by experienced and knowledgeable dieticians or chefs.
The summer months are a perfect time to focus on developing and maintaining healthy habits. Carrying these healthy habits into September, the start of cold and flu season, will decrease the chances of catching a virus.
Practice Healthy Habits at Wesley Enhanced Living
At Wesley Enhanced Living, our team of highly trained professionals believe seniors can do anything with determination, and they support seniors in reaching their health goals. Discover why our senior living communities are perfect for you! Contact us about our Independent Living, Personal Care, and Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing options today!
Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones. Contact one of our Philadelphia-area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own and inform you of our range of services. Virtual tours are now available. Call us today for more information.