Monsoon season is the time of the year associated with fun and happiness. The rains mark the end of the excruciating summer season and give us a reason to smile and enjoy. Monsoon is a welcome change for most of us. But we cannot say the same for the elderly. The rains can invite a new set of problems for elderly people. The problems can be various bacterial or viral infections due to poor immunity or body pains owing to sudden temperature changes. Let us discuss the common problems, that our elderly may face in monsoon and how to cope with them naturally.
Common diseases associated with the monsoon in elderly
- Viral infections and various bacterial infections: Infectious diseases like Cholera and Typhoid may occur due to exposure to contaminated food and water. Our elderly may also fall prey to various viral infections like the common cold or influenza. During monsoon, they are also prone to stomach infections.
- Malaria: Monsoon and water logging go hand in hand. The stagnated water can be a breeding ground for female anopheles mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting malaria.
- Dengue: The number of dengue cases rises significantly during monsoon. Elderlies may find it difficult to recover from the disease owing to poor immunity.
- Leptospirosis: It is a severe infection caused by Leptospira sp. The disease is commonly associated with rat bites as rodents are the primary carrier of this pathogen. Elderly people, because of their poor immunity levels, may suffer severe complications from this disease.
Now the question is, how can we ensure our elderly enjoy the monsoon season without compromising their health?
- Drinking warm water
Contaminated water is one of the most common sources of infection during monsoon season. During rains, waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid are on the rise. It is always good to have boiled water for drinking. Also, we can ask elderlies to use warm water even for bathing and other purposes.
- A big no to street food
Rains tempt us to gorge on chaats and other street food. Elderlies are no exception. But owing to weaken immunity, the street food may bring stomach upset and other medical conditions to the elderly. They should avoid food and follow hygienic eating habits.
- Boost immunity
One of the biggest causes of monsoon-related sicknesses is poor immunity. Coughs and colds are common in people with low immunity levels. Since in the elderly, the immunity levels are low, they are prone to various infections. The elderly can have a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as nuts, almonds, and grains that can boost their immunity.
- Proper hygiene habits
Cleanliness is critical for everyone at any point in time. Importance of following proper hygiene habits further increases during the rainy season. The diseases like malaria and dengue are a result of mosquitoes breeding in logged water. Further, microorganisms like the humid condition and poor hygiene give them thriving ground. We should ask the elderly to have clean food & water and follow proper hygiene habits like daily baths and washing hands regularly. Also, we should keep the place where they stay clean.
- A healthy nutritional diet
Monsoon can be harsh on the digestive system of the elderlies. We should ask them to have a diet rich in probiotics. Their meal can include fruits, green leafy veggies, and any fiber-rich food items.
- Use mosquito and insect repellents.
Monsoon season not only brings rains but a plethora of mosquitoes and insects. These creatures are responsible for causing diseases like malaria and dengue. We can use mosquito coils, nets, and repellants to protect our elderlies from these insects and mosquitoes. Still, the best way to counter the menace of these disease-causing creatures is to maintain proper hygiene habits and clear the stagnated water.
- Be with them when they step out.
It is risky to go out while it rains, even more for the elderly. There are a lot of incidences of falls and accidents during monsoon. Further, drenching in the rain may accompany a lot of seasonal illnesses. The elderly should avoid going out in the monsoon season. If going out is extremely necessary, it is good to have umbrellas or raincoats and be with them.
- Be proactive in taking consultation.
Prevention is always better than cure. Even a slight hint of illness in elderlies may warrant medical attention. Since monsoon can bring a lot of infections, it is always better to seek doctor consultation for our elderlies if they are feeling unhealthy.
Monsoon is the season of happiness. By following these tips we can enjoy this season with our elderlies without compromising their health.