The digestive tract is an incredibly complicated part of the human body that’s responsible for turning food into important nutrition. As people age, certain parts of the digestive system begin to wear out. Here are a few reasons older adults should maintain their digestive health.
1. Prevents Nutritional Deficiencies
Consuming vitamins and minerals isn’t enough to get proper nutrition. The body also needs to be able to absorb and use these nutrients. When certain gastrointestinal issues go untreated, seniors can end up with deficiencies due to a lack of absorption ability, which can cause issues like anemia due to an iron deficiency or osteoporosis due to a calcium deficiency.
Aging adults who need help boosting their digestive health should consider professional in-home care. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
2. Reduces Cancer Risks
There are several types of cancer that are influenced by a senior’s digestive health. For example, esophageal cancer can be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease, and colon cancer can be caused by repeated constipation. These types of cancer occur when something in a senior’s dietary or digestive habits ends up damaging the cells in the digestive tract. To keep the digestive tract healthy, seniors should eat plenty of probiotic foods, drink a lot of water, and avoid excessively large or greasy meals.
3. Keeps Medical Bills Low
Due to the unique placement of the gastrointestinal system, treatment can become quite difficult if the issue isn’t addressed during the early stages. Repeated bouts of acid reflux can damage the esophagus so badly that surgery is needed, and surgery may also be necessary for issues like stomach ulcers or intestinal abscesses. Paying proper attention to digestive health and treating conditions before they worsen can ensure seniors don’t end up having expensive surgeries.
4. Lowers Chances of Incontinence
Incontinence is still a somewhat awkward subject in the senior community. Those with digestive issues frequently worry about flatulence or having accidents when they cannot get to the restroom in time. Eating high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and grains and drinking plenty of water can prevent diarrhea and other forms of incontinence. Proper digestive health can make it much easier for seniors to be confident in social settings.
If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Oshkosh families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
5. Prevents Painful Conditions
Several issues associated with digestive disorders aren’t necessarily life-threatening, but they’re still quite uncomfortable. Hemorrhoids and constipation can make each bowel movement painful, while ulcers and acid reflux can cause pain after each meal. Fortunately, most of these issues can be prevented by regularly eating small meals and following a diet high in fiber, water, and probiotics.
Caring for an aging adult with chronic constipation or other digestive issues can be a challenging task. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Oshkosh, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call us at (920) 573-6295 today.