Although drinking caffeinated beverages in moderation may have little to no effect on most seniors, an overabundance of this compound can lead to a host of serious health complications. Here is a list of possible health risks for your elderly loved one if he or she consumes too much caffeine.
Just two cups of coffee per day can increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. A 2001 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found dietary caffeine consumption acutely increases the loss of calcium through urine. When bones lack calcium, they can become brittle and break more easily. While younger people are often able to add more dairy to their diets to make up for the loss of calcium, the body doesn’t replace calcium as quickly in older adults.
As with all lifestyle and dietary habits, consult your loved one’s physician about appropriate daily amounts of caffeine. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
High Blood Pressure
Because caffeine is a stimulant, it increases central nervous system activity, which can lead to the narrowing of blood vessels. When the blood vessels narrow, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through them, increasing blood pressure levels. Caffeine can also increase blood pressure by causing the adrenal glands to release more adrenaline. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, kidney disease, and strokes.
Living with serious health conditions 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. Pembroke Pines seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
If your loved one continues to consume caffeine as he or she ages, this habit could lead to cardiovascular issues. Drinking caffeine can increase the heart rate and the blood volume that pushes against your loved one’s narrowed blood vessels. This could cause his or her heartbeat to become irregular, which can lead to heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes.
Anxiety & Stress
If your loved one already experiences high levels of stress and anxiety, caffeine can intensify these feelings. Caffeine stimulates the release of several stress hormones, such as norepinephrine, cortisol, epinephrine, and glucocorticoids. The prolonged release of these hormones can increase stress and anxiety, which have been shown to play a role in a suppressed immune system, difficulty in digestion, and the development of headaches.
Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it causes the body to increase the flow of urine. When too much water is expelled from the body, dehydration can result. Dehydration is one of the most common electrolyte and fluid problems in the elderly. Because the signs are often mistaken for other problems, family caregivers often don’t realize their senior loved ones are dehydrated. If your loved one is ill, it’s especially important to limit his or her caffeine intake. The decrease in fluid intake that normally occurs during an illness combined with the diuretic properties of caffeine can result in severe dehydration.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Pembroke Pines Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (954) 374-8273 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.