If your elderly relative’s doctor is talking to you both about starting probiotics, you probably have a lot of questions. Or perhaps you’ve heard from other family members or friends about how probiotics have helped them with some digestive issues and you wonder if they might help your elderly relative, too. No matter what starts your search for more information about probiotics, it’s important to find out all you can so you can help your elderly loved one make a good decision about them.
Here are 9 things that family caregivers should know about probiotics and how they might help elderly relatives:
- Everyone has both friendly and harmful bacteria in the gut. The friendly bacteria help digest our food and fight off some diseases. Harmful bacteria can affect the body negatively in many ways. Humans need a balance of friendly and harmful bacteria for optimum health.
- Probiotics are supplements of live bacteria that can help the body overcome a number of digestive and bowel-related issues. An infusion of friendly bacteria can crowd out the harmful bacteria when they grow too overwhelming.
- Due to age-related issues, most elderly people have a lower amount of friendly bacteria in their intestines than other age groups. They are more likely to develop digestive complications and bowel issues as well.
- Probiotic supplements can be taken in several forms, such as pills, powder mixes and via prepackaged and prepared food like yogurt and fruit juices. Some probiotics are found naturally in naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee and yogurt.
- Probiotics are especially helpful for seniors that struggle with conditions like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. They can help relieve symptoms of cramps, gas and diarrhea.
- Other areas of an elderly person’s body that are helped by probiotics include the skin, the immune system, the lungs and even mental health and emotional states.
- Probiotic supplements on the market are not the same and vary in the different types of bacteria they contain, as well as the bacteria concentration. Caregivers should consult with a doctor for specific recommendations.
- Studies show that when seniors take probiotics, they are more resistant to allergies, asthma attacks, yeast infections, post-antibiotic diarrhea, yeast infections and common digestive problems.
- Elderly people should never take probiotics without the guidance of their doctor. In some cases, compromised immune systems or other diseases can be a reason for seniors to avoid probiotics. In general, probiotics are very safe for the elderly, and doctors can help with the kind they need and how and when to take them.
For elderly people, numerous factors like frequent antibiotic use, chronic illness, stress, unbalanced diet, and more can throw off the balance of bacteria in the body. With a doctor-recommended treatment plan, probiotics can help maintain the digestive system and boost their body’s overall health by providing a constant source of friendly bacteria.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Caregivers in Pinellas Park, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.