As we age, our body changes drastically. With aging, we don’t just experience difficulty in movement, sagging of skin, etc but also changes in our internal system and the way it functions. For many people, one of the issues that aging brings is digestive problems or reduced ability to digest what we eat. Various age-related factors can contribute to digestive problems such as a sedentary lifestyle, medication side effects, gum diseases or tooth decay, a poor diet, etc. As we age, our eating habits are also likely to change. Food may no longer be as pleasurable as it once was. We may no longer have the will or energy to prepare high fiber, well-balanced meals or cut up vegetables and fruits, especially if we’re eating alone. Eating an unbalanced diet can cause deficiencies of various important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, especially vitamin B12, iron, etc. which can lead to digestive problems. Hiring a caretaker for old age for your loved ones can help a great deal in making sure they eat a good diet.
Taking multiple medications can lead to a variety of gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, nausea, etc. Additionally, as we age our lifestyle tends to get more and more inactive. This can make the digestive issues worse. A sedentary lifestyle and chronic digestive issues can further lead to low absorption of nutrients and cause further illnesses and issues in both our mental and physical health.
This just explains how important it is to take care of our digestion, even as we age. The good news is that hiring an elder caretaker and making simple lifestyle changes and practices can help you treat these digestive problems or even prevent them. Let us have a look at 5 such practices that can help in improving digestion in older adults!
 

  1. Maintain a healthy diet

    : Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial, not just for better digestion but for better health overall as you age. If you or your loved one is looking to improve their digestion make sure to hire home care nursing and perform elderly care.
  • Make sure your elder caretaker adds fiber to your meals by including whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables, and beans. Fiber has a wide range of health benefits including lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart diseases and can also help in regulating bowel movements and improving digestion.
  • One should also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as well as to ensure that the fiber absorbs enough water to pass through the digestive system easily.
  • Eat a variety of proteins such as fish, lean meat, and beans.
  • Reduce consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
  • Reduce consumption of salt.
  • Avoid white foods like rice, bread, and potatoes.
A caretaker for old age can ensure timely intake of proper diet so elders can recover from their health concerns on time.
 
  1. Maintain a healthy weight

    : It is important to watch what you eat as well as how much you eat. When you overeat, it is easy to gain weight. This is especially true if you’re getting less and less active as you age. It can overtax your digestive system causing symptoms of heartburn. Make sure you control your portion sizes, curb fatty foods, and keep your meals reasonable in size. One of the most important things you can do for your digestive system and your body is to maintain a healthy weight with the help of an elder caretaker. When you overeat, it is easy to gain weight. This is especially true if you’re getting less and less active as you age. It can overtax your digestive system causing symptoms of heartburn. Make sure you control your portion sizes, curb fatty foods, and keep your meals reasonable in size. Hiring a caretaker for old age can help a great deal in making sure the elderly are eating the right food in the correct portions.
 
  1. Try fermented foods and probiotics

    : Fermented foods are food that has been partially or wholly broken down by microorganisms, such as bacteria, who work to preserve food. This fermented food may have benefits for gut health. Our gut contains naturally occurring bacteria. While some bacteria help in digesting food, others can cause problems with digestion when in larger numbers in the body. Fermented foods consist of bacteria that may help support a healthy digestive function. Such fermented foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, miso, sourdough bread, etc. Some people can additionally consider taking probiotic supplements that contain helpful “good bacteria” that can aid people with chronic constipation. You must speak to your doctor before taking any probiotic supplements. Elder caretakers can help elders address their digestion issues and health concerns and get doctor consultations at the right time.
 
  1. Getting active

    : Exercising regularly and staying physically active has a lot of health benefits. Doing gentle exercises can help a great deal with digestion. It is a great way to improve or even prevent constipation. Being upright and staying active allows gravity to assist in moving the food through the digestive system. It is a good idea to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Additionally, it is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get at least two days of strengthening exercise a week. Taking a slow walk post meals may ease bloating and reduce feelings of fullness. Elder caretaker ensures monitoring the elders and pushing them to stay active throughout the day and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
 
  1. Stress management

    : Stress can easily affect the digestive system. Longer periods of stress can affect the connection between the gut and the brain causing digestive issues and other health issues. Taking steps to reduce stress can have a positive impact on both your mind and body. Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and having a good support network are a few very effective ways to manage stress. Practicing stress management by making lifestyle changes and seeking support such as hiring an elder caretaker and availing senior citizen caretaker services can help in improving and resolving many digestive issues.
As we age, we realize that our stomach reacts differently as well. We may no longer be able to eat spicily or junk food as we used to without getting indigestion or heartburn symptoms. It is a great idea to make healthy lifestyle choices like regular exercising, watching your weight, eating healthy, not smoking, practicing sleep hygiene, etc. to make sure your digestive system functions in an optimum way. Hiring a caretaker for old age can go a long way in supporting the elderly in making these lifestyle changes.
If your gastrointestinal problems tend to persist, you must get an examination done by a doctor and seek treatment to improve your digestion. It is a good idea to avail of senior citizen caretaker services for yourself or your loved ones. Hiring a caretaker for old age can support you in seeking effective treatment and implementing it in your lifestyle.
Elcare is an elder care service provider that is dedicated to improving the physical and mental wellness of elders via various services including senior citizen caretaker services, home care nursing, and home attendant for the elderly. For information about our Health & Wellness Advisory and other services, call us on 08045914567.