How to Address an Older Adult’s Changing Nutritional Needs

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During their golden years, many seniors eat the same foods they ate during their youth. However, the body’s nutritional needs change with age, so seniors should adjust their diets accordingly. Getting the right types of nutrition each day can greatly enhance a senior’s health. You can help your senior loved one address his or her changing dietary requirements by taking the following steps. 

Avoid Serving Foods with Empty Calories

Metabolism tends to slow down with age, and seniors may need to eat fewer calories if they want to prevent obesity. Because it’s still important for the body to get enough nutrients, seniors should avoid eating foods like white bread or candy that just provide calories without any nutrients. 

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help preparing healthy meals to meet his or her daily nutritional requirements. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated elder care, you can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

Include More Fiber

The average senior diet tends to be very low in fiber because seniors often avoid foods that are difficult to chew. Fiber is a type of indigestible food that plays an important role in digestion, helps seniors feel full without eating too much, and keeps blood sugar levels stable. A high-fiber diet is also linked to a lower risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Seniors should try to boost their fiber intake by adding fiber supplements to their diets and eating vegetables and fruits without peeling off the skins. 

Monitor Calcium Intake

As people get older, their bones tend to lose tissue faster than they replace it. Bone loss could eventually lead to osteoporosis, which can cause bones to become fragile and break easily. To prevent osteoporosis, seniors need to eat foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D. Dairy products and dark leafy green vegetables can be great sources of calcium. 

Serve Lean Proteins

Seniors are at risk for heart disease due to having weakened circulatory systems, and eating a lot of saturated fats can damage arteries even more. Many seniors only get protein from fatty cuts of meat, so they end up with protein deficiencies when they cut back on saturated fats. Protein is still important because it keeps a person feeling full and energetic all day long. Lean cuts of meat, tofu, yogurt, eggs, and lentils are great sources of protein. 

Seniors with heart disease or other medical conditions often need help preparing healthy meals. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Clearwater seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Increase B12 Intake

After the age of 50, the body doesn’t produce as much stomach acid, which is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12 from food. Vitamin B12 deficiencies can cause serious issues, including anemia and dementia-like symptoms. Serve cereals and other foods fortified with extra vitamin B12 to make sure your loved one gets enough of this important vitamin. 

Addressing your loved one’s changing nutritional needs is one of the many ways to ensure he or she enjoys a high quality of life. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Clearwater Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To learn about our quality-assured services, give us a call at (727) 330-7862 today. 

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