Studies have attempted to determine both the benefits and detriments of caffeine, which can make it difficult for seniors to decide if it is healthy to drink. Like most substances we put into our bodies, moderation is the key. If your elderly loved one is on the fence about this issue, the staff at Caledon Home Care Assistance has put together a list of reasons why including a little caffeine in his or her diet might be a good idea.
Enhanced Muscle Performance
It was not until recently that researchers discovered just how much of an impact caffeine has on a person’s muscles. According to research published by Coventry University, caffeine affects how quickly muscle cells regenerate. In this study, seniors who drank at least one cup of coffee per day had much slower muscle degeneration than those who did not drink coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda.
Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia affect one in nine adults over the age of 65. While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, a number of promising studies have shown caffeine might reduce the risk of developing it. A 2009 study in Finland found seniors who drank at least three cups of coffee per day were 65 percent less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Increased Cognitive Functions
Cognitive decline is often a natural part of aging. A decrease in memory and reflexes can begin by the age of 45, but there are some steps that can be taken to slow this. Caffeine has been shown to increase cognitive performance and protect the brain from free radicals, and studies continue to show us regular caffeine consumption is closely tied to better baseline cognition in adults over the age of 70.
Decreased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
A number of caffeine sources, including coffee and green tea, contain minerals such as chromium and magnesium. The human body needs these two minerals to produce and regulate the hormones that control insulin levels. Over 18 studies conducted in the last 20 years have found seniors can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 7 percent for every cup of coffee or tea they drink per day.
Before making any changes to your loved one’s diet, make sure to check with his or her physician in case the change could negatively impact a preexisting condition. If your loved one needs help maintaining a healthy diet, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can make sure your loved one is getting the nutrients he or she needs to remain healthy. We also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and stroke care in Caledon. For more information, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 905-951-8885 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.