As you age, the immune cells in your body change. B and T cells are types of immune cells within your body. Aging slows their production. These are the cells that help your body identify illnesses and form “memories” that help the body know how to fight that intruder if it ever appears again.
If cells aren’t identifying viruses, parasites, and bacteria as intruders, there’s nothing to trigger the release of white blood cells to fight that infection. If they’re not remembering how to fight viruses of the past, the body has to start the battle from scratch. There’s one more immune cell and it’s the one that goes to battle when there is a new infection or virus that the other cells do not recognize.
Naive T cells are the cells that have never “fought” a battle. When there’s a new virus, it’s the naive cells that go to battle. They’re also in lower quantities in the elderly, so there are fewer of them to get to work. That makes it harder for the body to fight off a new illness or infection.
There’s another problem at play. Inflammation increases as you age. Inflammation increases for several reasons including decreased function in the kidneys and liver, chronic stress, too little sleep, increased weight, or dietary changes. Inflammation causes the body to trigger an immune response that speeds up aging. It’ becomes a never-ending circle of issues. It’s important to help the body give the immune system a boost. How do you do that?
Ways to Help Boost Your Immunities
Your parents need to get enough exercise. It’s important to get 30 minutes of exercise each day. They can mix up routines and walk a few days a week or join a yoga class. Strength training, swimming, and bicycling are other good exercises.
Exercise is good as it helps with weight loss. It’s also a good way to ease stress. Stress reduction techniques can help reduce chronic stress. If your parents are often stressed over finances, news, or other aspects of daily life, they need to find an outlet. A hobby, meditation, and daily walks are all good ways to start.
Make sure your mom and dad are cooking healthy meals. If they cannot cook meals on their own, hire caregivers to prepare healthy meals for them. They want to focus their meals and snacks on lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh produce. Low salt and avoidance of saturated fat are also important.
Caregivers can help with meals. They can also encourage your parents to get outside for fresh air and exercise. Caregivers can drive your parents to stores to purchase groceries and pick up prescriptions. Learn more by making a call.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Jupiter, FL, please contact the caring staff at MAZALTOV HOME CARE, LLC today at. (561) 465-5920