Does Caffeine Affect Your Senior More than She Realizes?

For National Caffeine Awareness Month this March, you and your elderly family member might want to take a closer look at how caffeine might be affecting her and what she can do about it.

She May Be More Sensitive than She Knows

As your elderly family member grows older, she may find that she has a different tolerance for a lot of things she used to enjoy, including caffeine. The standard recommendation is that adults limit their caffeine intake to 400 milligrams or less per day. Your senior may have gradually cut back on her own caffeine use without realizing it as such, so when she does have a little more, it might have a bit more punch than she realizes.

Caffeine Can Affect Hydration

Elder Care in Xenia OH

Something to consider also is that caffeine is a diuretic. It’s a mild one, to be sure, but it still has that effect. So, if your elderly family member is already having a difficult time remaining properly hydrated, a lot of caffeine might be making that difficult. Also, if she already takes blood pressure medications or diuretics that are prescribed for her, caffeine can amplify those side effects.

Caffeine and Cortisol Have a Connection

Caffeine and cortisol have an interesting link. Caffeine is a stimulant, and when your senior eats or drinks something with caffeine, her body is triggered to release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and it works within the brain to regulate mood. It also helps to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, and it has a role in the circadian rhythm. Too much cortisol, however, can cause many systems in your senior’s body to be out of whack.

Look at When Your Senior Is Ingesting Caffeine

One of the most important things you and your senior can do besides looking at the amount of caffeine she is ingesting is to look at when she’s getting that caffeine. If she’s having a cup or two of coffee first thing in the morning, she may not experience a big impact from that. Having quite a few more cups of coffee, especially later in the day, may be causing her problems in more than one area. Cutting back might be a good idea.

If your senior is interested in cutting back her caffeine intake, she might need a little bit of extra help. Elder care providers can help her to keep an eye on timing and they can serve as a pleasant distraction during times when your senior might have normally reached for more caffeine.

If you are considering elder care in Xenia, OH, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts At Home of Dayton today at 937-558-9394.

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