Natural Ways to Treat Sore Throat in Older Family Members

12Oaks-Senior woman sick, throat pain-ss-Natural Ways to Treat Sore Throat in Older Family Members-Feature

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Your parents mention they have been bothered by a lingering sore throat for several days, causing snowballing symptoms starting with lack of sleep and dehydration. You want to help, but getting them prescription medications might not be your first choice.

The recommended therapies in this post are respected among medical professionals to reduce the discomfort associated with sore throats in seniors. These precautions may also help prevent an accompanying cold, flu, or infection.


How to Treat Sore Throat Naturally for Senior Citizens

Gargle Warm Salt Water

12Oaks-Elderly adult caucasian woman with sore throat and fever as seasonal flu or pollen allergy on sofa at home while drinking glass of water-ss-1.Drink Warm Salt Water for Gargling

Gargling warm salt water is the most straightforward, secure, and inexpensive home solution to treat sore throats.

Gargling with salt water has become a go-to remedy for some mild illnesses, including sore throat. In addition, this method has been employed as complementary therapy predating modern medicine.

Saltwater gargles block germs and lower the risk of infections in the throat. Salt helps draw water out of oral tissues. It also forms a salt barrier that prevents water and harmful bacteria from re-entering.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water for your senior to use. The warmth of the water is soothing and relieving. Moreover, warm water allows the salt to dissolve into the water more readily.

Have your parents gargle the water in the back of their throats for ten seconds at a time, repeating a few times to coat the throat in salt and give the warm water time to warm the throat’s inner tissue. After gargling, rinse the mouth with salt water as well before spitting.


Try Warm Soup

12Oaks-Elderly woman sitting in bed and eating soup, closeup-ss-2.Try Warm Soup

Food choice can significantly impact your comfort level when suffering from a sore throat. Eating soft, readily digestible food is recommended when your throat is irritated.

Soup is a nutrient-dense meal that can benefit whatever illness may be behind the sore throat. Additionally, you can make soft, simple-to-digest foods for your parents, like smoothies, mashed potatoes, yogurt, or eggs.


Use Steam Method

12Oaks-Portrait of senior sick man with grey hair at home inhaling. Portrait of elderly man with flu inhalation-ss-3.Use Steam Method

Your parents can benefit from moist air, even without a humidifier, to cure sore throats. Inhaling the steam from a hot shower is a smart way to aid with swelling reduction and pain alleviation.

First, run a sink full of hot water to generate steam. Next, you may advise your parents to breathe in the steam by leaning into the sink and covering their heads with a towel. To soothe a sore throat, keep inhaling deeply for a few minutes, then repeat.


Stay Hydrated

12Oaks-smiley elderly woman holding a cup of tea while being hugged by her lovely granddaughter-ss-4.Stay Hydrated

A sore throat may follow a dry throat. The dryness may indicate that our senior hasn’t consumed enough liquids. Their body produces less saliva due to dehydration, which dries the mouth and throat.

Reminding your loved ones to drink water and lubricate their throats is beneficial to ensure a speedy recovery. Try to get them to consume 64 ounces or more of water each day.


Try Honey

12Oaks-Asian senior woman drinking lemon and honey juice in glass at home, lifestyle concept-ss-5.Try Honey

Due to its inherent antibacterial qualities, honey is one of the finest treatments for sore throat. Furthermore, it functions as a wound healer, providing rapid pain relief and attempting to lower inflammation.

Honey is known as a natural ingredient valued for its therapeutic properties, according to a 2018 review. Honey significantly impacts human health, thanks to its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise using honey to ease cough and sore throats simultaneously.

Suppose your elderly family members suffer from a sore throat and a persistent cough. In that case, you can combine two teaspoons of honey with warm water or tea, then give it to them.


Things Your Seniors Should Avoid When Having a Sore Throat


12Oaks-Quit smoking, no tobacco day, mother hands breaking the cigarette-ss-Things Your Seniors Should Avoid When Having a Sore Throat

A comparative study in 2016 showed that smokers had higher rates of cough, throat dryness, taste disturbance, and other symptoms than non-smokers.

Smoking can impair the immune system of senior citizens, increasing their risk of throat infections that can aggravate their sore throat. In addition, when seniors smoke, they are more prone to certain illnesses, such as the flu, colds, strep throat, and others.


Eating Fatty, Acidic Foods, or Spicy Foods

Eating and drinking may be painful and challenging when a senior suffers from a sore throat. Moreover, consuming acidic, spicy, or overly fatty foods is more likely to make their throats more inflamed and easily irritated.

Senior citizens with sore throats should steer clear of fatty, spicy, or acidic foods as these can aggravate the issue. Additionally, they should avoid foods with a crunchy or dry texture because those foods all irritate their vulnerable throat.


Drinking Alcohol

A 2017 review indicates that regular alcohol consumption negatively impacts oral feelings like thirst and mouth dryness. Additionally, alcohol causes your seniors to urinate more frequently and causes their bodies to lose more water. Dehydration brought on by excessive alcohol use might also make them feel dizzy and nauseous.

Overall, avoiding alcohol altogether is the only surefire way to prevent sore throat symptoms.


Avoid Excessively Dry Air

Dry air can induce inflammation in your throat tissue, causing sore throat. The cooler the temperature and less humidity of the air is, the more pronounced the effect will be.

If the air where your loved ones reside is dehydrated, here are some tips you may consider to assist in safeguarding them:

  • Use humidifiers to add moisture to dry air.
  • Remind them to moisturize their skin after a shower.
  • Help them seal the air leaks around windows or doors.


If you have questions about sore throats in seniors or anything discussed here, connect with us and learn more. 

At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.

For questions or to book a scheduled personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us. 


Are you searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a virtual tour.

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