Is Caffeine Bad for Seniors with GERD?

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is an uncomfortable condition that causes frequent heartburn.
It can also affect breathing and digestion. When an older adult is diagnosed with GERD, the doctor usually suggests that they change the way they eat to improve symptoms. However, since not all foods affect all people, in the same way, it can be difficult to know which ones your aging relative should avoid. Caffeine is one substance that people with GERD are sometimes told to strike from their diet, but is that true for all people?


Home Care in Fort Lauderdale FL: Seniors With GERD

Home Care in Fort Lauderdale FL: Seniors With GERD


Caffeine and GERD

It’s not uncommon for health care professionals to tell GERD patients to stop drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea. However, it turns out that there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence that proves whether caffeine is a problem or not. Instead, studies show that just like other foods, some people who drank coffee or tea had a worsening of GERD symptoms and some did not.

If you’re not certain whether the senior in your life is affected by caffeine, it can help to eliminate it from their diet for a short time and track symptoms. Then, add it back in and again track symptoms. If the senior’s symptoms seemed to be lessened when they were not consuming caffeine, it is likely a food that triggers GERD for them and should be eliminated.


If your aging relative does have to stop drinking coffee or tea, there are some alternatives they can try, including:

  • Decaffeinated Coffee
  • Herbal teas
  • Fruit Teas
  • Chicory Coffee


Lifestyle Changes for Improving GERD Symptoms

In addition to determining which foods trigger GERD, there are other ways you can help your loved one to manage the condition. Some suggestions from doctors at the Mayo Clinic are:

-Control Weight: Carrying excess pounds puts pressure on the belly, which pushes the stomach up and makes acid flow back into the esophagus.

-Sleep with the Upper Body Elevated: Elevating the head of the bed allows gravity to work in the older adult’s favor, keeping acid from flowing upward. To elevate the head of the bed, you could place wood or cement blocks under the feet. You only need to raise it by six to nine inches. If you cannot elevate the bed itself, you can purchase a wedge-shaped cushion to raise the upper body. Using pillows to elevate just their head won’t work.

-Don’t Eat Near Bedtime: Make sure the older adult has dinner at least three hours before going to bed.

Senior care can help older adults to reduce and manage GERD symptoms.

A senior care provider can prepare healthy meals that do not include trigger foods. They can also make sure dinner is served far enough away from bedtime. Senior care providers can also help older adults who are trying to lose weight by assisting them to be more physically active and avoid overeating. Finally, since having the head of the bed elevated, may make it awkward for a senior to get into bed, a senior care provider can help them to get in safely and ensure they are comfortable for a good night’s sleep.


If you or a family member are in need of Home Care in Fort Lauderdale, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770.
Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.





About the author: Stephen Sternbach
Stephen Sternbach has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Star Multi Care Services since 1987. After the sale of the New York and New Jersey operations of Star Multi Care Services, Sternbach brought the company private where he remains President and CEO of this newly developed $22M home healthcare company. With Sternbach at the helm, Star Multi Care Services employs more than 550 employees, in six offices throughout Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales. 1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002. In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies. Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.