Effects of Aging on the Immune System

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The immune system is one of the most important systems in the body. It can boost heart health, control body weight, lower blood pressure, and protect against various diseases. Aging can have a negative effect on this system, which is why adults need to make healthy lifestyle choices in the senior years. Here are some of the effects aging has on the immune system.

Damages Immune Cell Communication

The number of immune cells decreases with age, which raises the risk of pneumonia, the flu, the common cold, and other infections. As a result, the body takes longer to react to harmful germs and allows them to spread. It’s important that seniors seek treatment to prevent the illness from getting worse or indirectly triggering another health issue. To boost immune cell communication, your loved one should stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. 

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 home care. Lincoln families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Lowers Complement Protein Production

The complement system is a part of the immune system, and it enhances the way the body clears out microbes and damaged cells. As your parent ages, his or her body may not produce as many complement proteins as it once did, which raises the risk of inflammation. Fewer complement proteins can also put your loved one at risk of developing bacterial infections. Your parent should follow a healthy diet and stay socially and physically active to manage this issue.

Causes a Decrease in T Cells

Decreased T cell production impacts how a senior’s body responds to vaccinations. Although there is a decrease in the production of new T cells as a person ages, as well as a decrease in thymus size, a significant reduction in T cells doesn’t begin until the senior years. When this happens, immune cells begin to attack certain organs and tissues in the body, putting overall health in jeopardy. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding tobacco products are two ways seniors can boost T cell function. 

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Lincoln senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Disrupts the Healing Process

Getting over the flu or recovering from a bad injury may take a long time for older adults because their bodies produce fewer immune cells. As a result, the ability to heal slows down. White blood cells, also referred to as macrophages, take on a protective role for older adults. The cells produce chemical messengers that repair wounds and other injuries. However, when the body produces fewer white blood cells, it’s difficult to build new tissue. Aging disrupts the way the body heals from infection, wounds, and other types of injuries.

A weak immune system can make older adults susceptible to a wide variety of health issues. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Lincoln seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your elderly parent, call Home Care Assistance at 916.226.3737 today.