Unless someone has been living in a mountain cave for most of their adult life, they have undoubtedly heard about the importance of diet in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and aging well. Unhealthy diets have been linked to various diseases, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. Lack of good nutrition can affect the eyes as well as cognitive function. Seniors have specific dietary needs and fulfilling these can help their body adapt to the many changes that aging brings.
Important Nutrient Considerations for Seniors
Both medications and chronic illnesses can affect a person’s dietary needs. Several medications deplete vitamins, particularly the B vitamins. It can become increasingly difficult for seniors to chew and even swallow food. Diminished senses, such as taste and smell, can alter their appetite. Due to these changes, it’s important for them to maintain a nutrient-dense diet. This type of diet consists of foods that are highly nutritious. Foods that fall into this category include avocados, salmon, greens, walnuts and sprouted whole grains.
Helping your Loved One
There are a few strategies you can take to help ensure your loved one is getting the nutrients they need to thrive as they age.
- Provide them with nutrient-dense foods throughout the day.
- If they have diminished senses, consider adding herbs and spices to their dishes to help increase their taste and smell levels.
- Provide foods that are high in B vitamins. These include leafy greens, beets, asparagus, bell peppers, lentils and snapper.
- Provide high-fiber and antioxidant-rich foods which are found in fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains.
- Switch high-fat with low or non-fat dairy products.
- Switch vegetable oils and fats such as butter to olive oil.
- Switch fatty red meats with poultry, fish and beans most days of the week.
- To ensure they remain hydrated, provide a constant glass of water by their side.
- Limit or avoid packaged and prepared foods that are often high in hydrogenated vegetable oils.
If these changes are fairly drastic compared to the present way your parent is eating, consider making small changes that ultimately lead to big results. If they need help with the daily activities of living, preparing healthy meals, or running errands such as grocery shopping, consider obtaining the services of a senior care provider. They can assist your loved one with everyday tasks as well as provide the care and companionship so important to the elderly.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Perry, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.