Having companion Care at Home can be a way to aid seniors in taking care of their gut health. There are many changes that occur during the older years, including those that make digestion harder. However, many of these problems can be avoided if seniors know what to do and make changes to their lifestyle. With the support of loved ones and the home care team, they gain the assistance they need. Continue reading to learn some common stomach problems that seniors may have and how to avoid them.
Common Digestive Problems in Seniors
Constipation: One intestinal problem that a lot of older people have is constipation. Numerous factors, such as a slower-functioning digestive system, specific medications, dehydration, or inadequate fiber intake, can contribute to it. The home care team can help them with this issue by creating meal plans that work better for their digestive system and by encouraging them to stay hydrated. Additionally, physical activity can help with regular bowel movements.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Heartburn, chest pain, and even damage to the esophagus can be caused by acid reflux, which is a long-term problem known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD.
To prevent this, the home care team can suggest that seniors eat smaller meals more often instead of big ones fewer times a day. Also, focusing on the right foods is key, as foods that are hot, acidic, or fatty can make symptoms worse.
Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis: Diverticulosis is a common disease in which small pouches form in the colon. It is called diverticulitis if these pouches get swollen or infected. In order to keep stools soft and relieve stomach pressure, one can prevent diverticulosis by eating fiber and staying hydrated.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, can lead to stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, and insufficient bathroom use. It is common for a lot of people, and studies suggest that worry can make it worse. This is significant as seniors’ worry may increase with age as they try to manipulate the various changes in their lives. Loved ones and the home care team can encourage activities that help seniors relax, like deep breathing and meditation. They can also ensure that seniors eat a well-balanced diet to avoid IBS triggers.
Helping Seniors Avoid Stomach Issues
First things first, seniors can avoid many stomach issues by watching what they eat. It’s important for them to eat a lot of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. In turn, they should reduce the amount of processed food and sugary snacks they eat.
Second, as mentioned above, hydration is crucial. Seniors should drink enough water throughout the day to keep their health in good shape and avoid constipation. Additionally, they should work toward being active for some of the day. While some seniors might struggle with mobility, they can gain assistance from home care aides to increase their activity each day. Even simple tasks like walking can help the digestive system. It might also be a good idea to suggest that seniors talk to their doctor about their medications to find out if there are any side effects or drug interactions that might affect their digestive system.
Digestive health is important for seniors as it relates to their overall health and quality of life. By following these tips and understanding some common issues, they and their home care support team can be on top of anything that might arise.
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