Healthy diets for seniors and the chronically ill can enhance both their quality of life and physical well-being. Eating well can prevent falls as well as further health issues and it also contributes to maintaining a healthy weight. This helps them to maintain their independence and the more that they are able to look after themselves, the easier it is for you to care for them. It may also aid in keeping your loved one from having to reside in long term care elsewhere. Let’s go back to nutrition basics for seniors and caregivers
Healthy meals are extremely important in order to avoid serious health conditions such as type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoporosis. In order to look and feel good, it is important to include a wide variety of food types in their diet. All diets should include adequate amounts of healthy fats (omega-3 and omega-6), and reduced sodium intake. For those who do not require a special diet, the general dietary guidelines and basic food groups are fine. Always keep in mind the weight of those you are caring for and that staying hydrated is extremely important for them as well.
Balance their food intake with energy demands and avoid meals that contain excess salt, alcohol, saturated fats and added sugar. Seniors should look for foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients. This would include fruit, vegetables, whole grains and leans sources of protein such as fish, poultry, beans and nuts. Pay careful attention to any special dietary needs and make sure that no meals are missed.
An older person may lose their appetite for a variety of reasons, none of which should be ignored or considered to be a symptom of aging. Side effects from medication, problems with chewing and digestion, loneliness, depression, as well as a reduced ability to taste and smell are all things that can contribute to a senior’s or chronically ill person’s reluctance to eat.
Proper food is meant to keep your body and brain healthy. When the brain feels energized, you feel active and alert at any age. Eating healthy enables the aging and the ill to remain as healthy as possible, and this contributes to their further independence. Let’s focus on nutrition basics so we all can lead healthier lives.