December 5, 2018

Tips for Strengthening an Older Immune System in Colder Months

The flu. A cold. Pneumonia.

When a healthy adult suffers from these ailments, it often results in a couple of days’ lost work or having to skip a few activities; however, seniors who develop symptoms of illnesses that appear during the winter months can experience severe consequences. While the flu or pneumonia is serious at any age, seniors are especially vulnerable due to compromised immune systems that come naturally as we age.

Simply put, seniors experience changes in their immune systems. According to, the aging population may have an immune system that is slower to respond, which is ultimately what increases their risk of illness. In addition, the body heals slower in later years due to fewer immune cells to encourage healing.

Involve your family's physician

Elder man talking with family physician

It is important that seniors discuss options with their doctors concerning vitamins, vaccines, and exercise. These three preventative measures can help seniors boost their immune systems and protect themselves from obtaining a serious illness during the colder months. These healthy activities also can help seniors maintain strength, increase endurance and even sleep better!

For healthy adults, these immune-boosting options are simple decisions. For seniors, however, physicians must consider prior health and possible risks associated. Seniors may need to start slow or adjust medications, they may need to have assistance during activities or they may need to explore alternate options due to possible reactions.

Keep loved ones involved

Lastly, family members also must remember to check on seniors during the winter months. At assisted living facilities, this is built in; however, those living alone may not have this daily support. Make sure to stop by more during the colder months to help ensure the health of the seniors you love. Notice changes in their health so you may notify them and their physicians.

For more information regarding options for taking care of your senior family members, click here.

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