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Tips for Seniors to Build Their Immune Systems

Oct 12 2012 - Posted by: Elizabeth Bemis to Aging & Caregiving

tips for seniors

As you age, your immune system becomes weaker and your health can suffer as a result. Here are some tips for seniors to build up their immune systems so that they can enjoy life to its fullest!

"Eat Your Greens"

How many times did your mom say that when you were younger? It holds true in your senior years, too. Leafy greens contain a wealth of antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E.

Leafy greens include spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, broccoli, endive, and varieties of lettuce. Many assisted living and independent living facilities let you choose from menu items. Make certain to include a fresh salad in your meal to get your leafy greens. A vegetable side dish, like steamed broccoli, offers another option.

Keep a Positive Mindset

Your attitude towards life can help or hinder your immune system. Feeling good boosts endorphins, known as the "feel good" hormones. Look on the bright side of things. Surround yourself with positive people instead of gripers. Take in a comedy. Laugh. Stay socially active. Isolation is the enemy of happiness! View challenges as an opportunity for growth.

Get involved in favorable activities to stay social and get exercise. If living at a senior living facility, check with your Activities Director to see what types of entertainment or activities are available.

Stay Physical

Staying physically active increases endorphins and blood circulation throughout your body. This is important for your immune system health. Find a favorable exercise or two, and engage in them regularly. Even going for an enjoyable walk will help. Get the most health benefits by walking at a moderately brisk pace. This pace involves raising your heart rate enough so you can still carry on a conversation while walking. If you cannot talk, you are overdoing it.

Eat A Balanced Meal Plan 

Eating a balanced meal plan, with foods from all major groups, ensures that you consume adequate amounts of nutrients. Be sure to consume foods from the dairy, protein, fruits, vegetables, and grains categories.

To be sure you get enough nutrients, take a multivitamin or mineral supplement daily.

Get A Pet

Many seniors live alone, which can increase feelings of isolation and loneliness. Counteract this by getting a pet. Pets provide companionship and enjoyment and improve your overall sense of well-being.

Key Takeaways:

  • Eat your greens 
  • Keep a positive mindset
  • Get physical
  • Eat a balanced meal plan
  • Get a pet 

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About Elizabeth Bemis

In 1998, I drove past an assisted living community construction site, learned that it was part of United Methodist Homes and realized the next stop on my professional journey was to work for a mission driven organization. Soon after, I joined the team as Executive Director of our Middlewoods of Farmington community and later served as Regional Manager for the Middlewoods properties before accepting my current role as Vice President of Marketing, Promotions, and Assisted Living Operations. I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, reading, walking, and love working alongside our staff, residents, and families to build strong communities that reflect the mission, vision, and values of United Methodist Homes.

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