Our digestive systems are 30 feet long, responsible for taking in food, processing it for nutrients and eliminating waste. When the digestive system is working well, we don’t even think about it. However, when gastrointestinal problems are present, it can affect an elderly person’s quality of life.
Age brings changes to the entire body, from hair and skin to internal organs within the body. The digestive system is also impacted by age and elderly adults will notice that they may experience more bloating, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion and more. The good news is that many digestive issues can be avoided by adopting some healthy habits. Family members and senior care aides can assist elderly adults in making changes to their lifestyle so that they can achieve optimum digestive healthy.
When family caregivers and senior care aides support elderly adults in developing healthy habits, they’ll be pleased at how well the digestive system responds. Family caregivers can help seniors improve their digestion by implementing these 12 tips.
- Practice good dental health so that teeth or dentures are strong enough to chew food.
- Chew food thoroughly before swallowing it.
- Sip water when eating to soften food and help it pass more easily through the digestive system.
- Eat a healthy diet with lots of fiber from fruits and vegetables.
- Drink more water throughout the day, as well as tea, broth and juicy fruits and vegetables.
- Limit sugar, processed food, fatty food and fried food.
- Dine while sitting up and in a stress-free environment.
- Incorporate probiotics to balance out gut bacteria.
- Stay active, from exercise and tai chi to walking and gardening.
- Ask a doctor about side effects of medicine leading to gastrointestinal distress.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Test for food intolerances and late-onset food sensitivities and allergies.
Family members and senior care assistants should also be aware of any warning signs that their aging loved one is experiencing some kid of digestive disease or illness. There are many disorders that can affect older people and they need to see a doctor for proper treatment. Some of these conditions include irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, GERD, dyspepsia, celiac disease, diverticulosis, and even colorectal cancer. If symptoms don’t go away after making healthy lifestyle changes, seniors should get to the doctor for a thorough examination.
An elderly person has a much greater risk of developing basic digestive issues as well as digestive system diseases. They need the care and concern of family members and others involved in senior care to help them with a balanced diet, activity and regular doctor appointments to ensure they are able to stay healthy and happy for years to come.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Senior Care in Largo, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.