Improve Your Immunity

As we transition into fall, and winter, it's the perfect time to take inventory of our health.  Cooler weather, and the impending holiday season brings with it annual flu shot reminders.  Older adults with compromised immunity are particularly susceptible especially with the grand kids back in school, and a busier social calendar.

Seniors with existing respiratory illnesses such as asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), must take special precautions to lower their risk of contracting the flu, or pneumonia. Also taking medications such as corticosteroids for autoimmune disorders can lessen the body's ability to fight off illness, and infection.

Hygiene is key in preventing the spread of viruses.  Wash your hands after touching door knobs, shopping cart handles or any other publicly shared surfaces.  Also avoid putting your hands near your mouth or eyes, and keep hand sanitizer nearby if running water isn't available.  Most stores, and pharmacies carry travel sized sanitizer, and wet wipes for on the go cleaning.

Get plenty of sleep, and reduce stress. Not getting enough rest sends your adrenal glands into survival mode, leaving the body more vulnerable to illness.  Frantic holiday time with all of it's obligations often leaves us depleted, so make a priority of taking time out for yourself.

Eat plenty of fruits, and vegetables.  Vitamin C rich foods such as red peppers, citrus, and cruciferous vegetables, are packed with immune boosting benefits.  Elderly adults often don't get enough of these nutrients, so taking a supplement is important to ensure the daily requirement is met.

Ask your doctor if getting a flu or pneumonia shot is right for you.  Medicare, and most commercial health plans consider these vaccines a preventative benefit, and cover the cost without being subject to deductible.

~Adriane Rosenberg