There’s no doubt that elderly adults drink plenty of coffee. After all, most of them have spent their lives with a hot cup on the way to work or enjoying it with friends in relaxed gatherings. Many people have developed a lot of ideas about coffee and health, so family caregivers who are responsible for an elderly loved one often have questions about coffee consumption in seniors. There are several studies that point to the benefits and harm that coffee can bring to elderly adults, so family caregivers can know how to proceed.
How Coffee Can Benefit Seniors
Coffee is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. Research has shown that drinking moderate amounts of caffeinated coffee provides several health benefits. The ingredients in coffee include magnesium, vitamin E, potassium and niacin, all essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs. It can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, strokes, cirrhosis, Parkinson’s disease, gout, and certain cancers like uterine or liver. Researchers have even shown that seniors who regularly consume moderate amounts of coffee actually live longer.
Mentally, coffee can prevent seniors from developing depression and fatigue, while boosting memory, focus, and concentration. Experts say that moderate coffee consumption is anywhere from one to four cups, with no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine for optimum health results without suffering from side effects.
How Coffee Can Harm Seniors
The most harmful part of coffee for the elderly is the overconsumption of caffeine. For seniors who drink more than four cups of coffee per day, or over 400 milligrams, they increase their risk of certain health issues. Excessive caffeine consumption can lead to heartburn, upset stomach, heartburn, increased blood pressure, dehydration, insomnia, anxiety, reduced bone strength, and caffeine addiction. Seniors with certain health conditions like hypertension or ulcers should not be drinking coffee. When elderly people fall into this category, family caregivers need to make others like elder care aides and other family members aware of the restrictions.
Like many things in life, moderation is the key to reaping the health benefits of coffee. Family caregivers can put a limit on their loved one’s coffee consumption by notifying other family members and elder care aides about the daily limits. They can also take steps to prevent their elderly loved one from taking in too much coffee by tracking their intake. Excessive caffeine consumption can be harmful to elderly adults, but when taken in moderation, coffee can be a healthy and delicious beverage choice. If family caregivers have any questions about whether or not their elderly loved one should be drinking coffee, they should consult with their doctor and express their concerns.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Rocklin, CA, or the surrounding areas please contact the caring staff at ApexCare®. Proudly Serving Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, Solano, San Joaquin & Stanislaus counties.
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