The digestive tract is an incredibly complicated part of the human body that is 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
Eating vitamins and minerals is not 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.
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 non-medical in-home care. Woodbridge families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones 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 or colon cancer can be caused by repeated constipation. These types of cancer occur when something in a senior’s dietary and 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 is not addressed during earlier 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 ensures seniors do not 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 elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Woodbridge families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
5. Prevents Painful Conditions
Several issues associated with digestive disorders are not necessarily life threatening, but they are 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.
Digestive disorders can lead to an array of serious health issues that make it difficult for older adults to age in place. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Woodbridge live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (203) 444-8575 today.