Community Blog

Tips for Better Digestion in Aging Adults

By Mike Jackson

As a family caregiver, you are always checking on your elderly relative to make sure they are feeling good and staying healthy. However, it’s hard to know what to do when our loved one complains about digestive issues. There are many age-related conditions that can affect the digestive tract, making it hard for some seniors to enjoy their day-to-day experiences. In fact, nearly 40 percent of seniors experience one or more digestive problems.


If you want your elderly relative to avoid being affected by digestive issues, there are many different things that you can do to ensure they develop healthy habits and avoid the triggers that can affect their body. Bringing other family members, elder care assistants and other caregivers on board will ensure that your elderly relative is getting plenty of support.


Age causes the digestive system to slow down and that means a person’s food isn’t going through the body very quickly. This can lead to heartburn, constipation and gassiness. One of the best ways to keep things moving along is to get up and do some exercises. It doesn’t have to be much, but elderly people that are more active report fewer digestive issues. Consider things like walking, tai chi, chair aerobics or water aerobics.


Medications that are commonly prescribed to elderly adults may influence digestion as well. Even over the counter pain relievers can irritate the stomach and cause unnecessary problems. Certain foods can also cause digestive issues, even if the elderly person has enjoyed them for years. Generally, spicy food, fatty or fried food, chocolate and caffeine are the top trigger foods for indigestion and stomach trouble.


Choosing the right foods to eat can make all the difference in an elderly person’s digestive health. By choosing high fiber foods, like whole grains, fruit, vegetables and beans, an aging adult can ensure their bowel movements will be more regular and negative digestive symptoms will be eased. In some cases, doctors may prescribe a low fiber diet if the elderly person suffers from chronic diarrhea. Family caregivers and elder care assistants need to make sure the person’s meals are especially nutritious.


Believe it or not, a person’s weight can influence their digestive health. When an elderly person is overweight, the internal organs don’t work as efficiently as they should. Because age already makes the body sluggish, excess weight adds further complications. Elderly adults that are eating a healthy diet and staying as active as possible can keep their weight under control and positively affect their health.


Finally, you can help your elderly relative improve their digestive health by getting them to the doctor for regular checkups. The doctor can recommend any health screenings that might provide any insight to the aging adult’s digestive tract issues. There’s no excuse for an aging adult to suffer with digestive problems for long, because the solutions are definitely achievable.


Source:

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/digestive-health-aging#1

IF YOU OR AN AGING SENIOR ARE CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN GARDEN CITY, ID, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS HOME CARE OF BOISE. CALL US: (208) 322-2668.

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