Natural Ways to Treat Colds & Flu in Aging Adults

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How to Treat Colds & Flu in Aging Adults in Rhode Island

Cold and flu season is upon us yet again, which can be problematic for your senior loved one. When an elderly person comes down with a cold or the flu, it can lead to other medical issues or exacerbate preexisting conditions. To help your parent kick a cold or the flu this season, incorporate the following items into his or her diet.


When your loved one has a cold, he or she might benefit from eating oysters because they’re rich in zinc, which is a necessary mineral known for effectively fighting off colds. A detailed study found that taking zinc lozenges appeared to significantly shorten cold symptoms in adults. Oysters contain more zinc than any other food and are safer than taking zinc supplements, which may cause side effects such as nausea.

Brazil Nuts

Seniors only need to eat a handful of Brazil nuts each day to protect them from the flu. These tasty nuts are high in protein and selenium, a mineral that’s crucial for the proper function of the immune system. This mineral may also protect against infections and colds, according to a study conducted at the University of North Carolina. This study found when mice with low levels of selenium were infected with the flu virus, high levels of inflammation were observed.

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of at-home care. Rhode Island Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

Sunflower Seeds

Eating sunflower seeds can reduce the chances of contracting a cold. Seniors should choose dry-roasted seeds rather than ones roasted in oil because they’re a healthier option. Sunflower seeds are one of the greatest natural sources of vitamin E, which is needed to maintain lung health. A study done in Scotland found people with diets rich in vitamins E and C had better lung capacity and produced less phlegm, which is helpful when trying to fight off a cold or flu.


Seniors who eat oily fish such as tuna and salmon have an increased chance of warding off colds. These types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are compounds known to aid in reducing dangerous inflammation throughout the body. Frequent inflammation stops the immune system from functioning properly, and it can cause greater susceptibility to colds, the flu, and more serious illnesses

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional senior home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.


Garlic contains a cold-fighting compound called allicin. A study of 146 subjects evaluated the effect of garlic versus placebos over three months. Those who took the garlic lowered their risk of getting colds by 50 percent, and subjects who did develop colds recovered more quickly.


Ginseng has long been celebrated for its various health benefits. The popular herb is often consumed as a supplement, but it can also be brewed in a soothing tea. Canadian researchers have found daily doses of ginseng can reduce the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms.
Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Rhode Island seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (401) 284-0979 to schedule a free in-home consultation.


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