As a caregiver of an aging parent, helping him live in his home by assisting in chores, meals and other aspects of daily living, you may also have begun to notice areas of his life that you were never really aware of before becoming his caregiver. If one of his habits that has drawn your attention is his coffee drinking, you might be curious about the health benefits and risks associated with drinking caffeinated coffee on a regular basis for someone his age. Listed here are both the positives and negatives of caffeine consumption.
Possible Benefits of Drinking Coffee
- It improves cognitive function. That burst of caffeine not only wakens up your parent in the morning physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Caffeine facilitates dopamine, which in turn boosts cognitive function, mood, memory, and energy.
- It can reduce the symptoms of depression. Those boosts of mood and energy can carry through to other aspects of your parent’s day.
- It reduces the risk of Parkinson’s Disease. The caffeine combines with other components to prevent biochemical changes often associated with Parkinson’s Disease.
- It lowers the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Of course, the coffee cannot be filled with sugar and cream. Those additions to your parent’s morning coffee will negate any good it may provide.
- It increases liver function, helping the body reduce the risk of cirrhosis.
- It can reduce the risk of heart failure.
Possible Risks of Drinking Coffee
- It causes dehydration. Dehydration is one of the top causes of hospital visits for seniors.
- It can increase blood pressure. If your parent already has high blood pressure, drinking caffeinated coffee can raise his numbers since caffeine is a stimulant.
- It can irritate the stomach lining, causing ulcers and gastritis.
- It interferes with some medication potency levels. Some medications should not be taken with a cup of coffee because the coffee may reduce the amount of the medication that gets absorbed into the blood stream. In other cases, it can amplify the stimulates in other drugs, making your parent jumpy or jittery.
As with most things in life, moderation is the key. Your parent may find a cup of coffee is the way he really enjoys starting his day, not only for the caffeine boost but also for the tradition of it. A warm cup of coffee can bring a soothing start to the morning. For those without health concerns like those listed above, the most anyone should consume in a day is 400 milligrams, or about 4 cups of coffee.
It’s also important to note that all of the benefits associated with coffee are referring to coffee without any added ingredients, otherwise known as black coffee. Flavored coffee creamers are often high in sugar and fat, added unnecessary calories to your parent’s diet.
Finally, your parent should take into consideration when he’s enjoying his last cup of coffee for the day. Caffeine ingested too close to bedtime can cause for a rough night’s sleep interrupted by insomnia and tossing and turning.
If you’re still concerned about how much coffee your parent is drinking, talk to him about reducing the amount of caffeine by supplementing decaffeinated coffee for a cup or two of his regular coffee. Quitting it all at once may cause side effects like headaches, so help your parent quit or reduce his coffee intake slowly.
If you or an aging loved one needs a Caregiver in Carmichael, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.