The common cold can become serious for seniors. While a cold usually goes away on its own without treatment for healthy individuals, seniors are at a higher risk of complications like pneumonia, bronchitis, or sinusitis. While there is no way to stop a cold once it’s started, Centennial Home Care Assistance encourages seniors to consider natural cold remedies to feel better in the meantime and possibly reduce the risk of complications.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 oil supplements made from fish oil are recommended for seniors as these healthy fats have a long list of benefits, including improving recovery following a heart attack, fighting depression, and easing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Another benefit? Omega-3 fatty acids help boost the immune system by increasing the activity of phagocytes, or cells that “eat” bacteria, while improving airflow and protecting the lungs from colds.
This Chinese root stimulates white blood cells to fight infection, and it’s been found to boost the immune system of mice. Research indicates it has similar effects in humans. This root doesn’t work immediately, however, it takes about six weeks to reach full effect so begin taking supplements ahead of cold season whenever possible.
Zinc is an important mineral that helps the body produce enough white blood cells to fight infection. Taking 30 mg of zinc as a cold is coming on can shorten the illness by around half a day, according to a recent study. Zinc is found in popular cold remedies like Cold-Eeze and Zicam, and it works by slowing the virus’s reproduction in the throat and nose.
Vitamin D has been found to improve the immune system and help prevent colds in seniors. People with very low levels of vitamin D are 36 percent more likely to get an upper respiratory infection than people who get plenty of vitamin D. Taking at least 1,000 IU every day to improve the immune system and fight off the infection.
Ginseng supplements can help as soon as a cold starts. According to one study, people who took two capsules of ginseng every day caught half as many colds as people who did not take ginseng. Even better, ginseng reduced the duration of their symptoms by half.
Learn more about helping your senior loved one stay healthy through cold season from the dedicated staff at Home Care Assistance. We utilize the Balanced Care Method to promote physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing all throughout the year, and it’s included in all of our care services, including stroke, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s senior care in Centennial at no additional cost. Give us a call today at (303) 957-3100 to speak with a friendly Care Manager and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.