As we age, our metabolisms slow and we become at a greater risk for chronic conditions. The good news is that through lifestyle choices such as diet and nutrition, we can ward off many of these effects well into later life.
We put together some tips to help you and your elderly loved one maintain a healthy diet:
Drink more water
As we age, our sense of thirst can diminish which makes it easy for older adults to become dehydrated. By drinking water throughout the day – even if you don’t really feel thirsty – you can help avoid this.
Eat a variety of whole foods and avoid processed foods
The more a particular food is processed, the fewer nutrients it is likely to have. To make sure you are getting a full range of nutrients, eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.
Supplement where needed
Even with the best of diets, you may still be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. Talk to your doctor or a dietitian to see if they recommend any supplements for you.
Have your medications reviewed
Some prescription drugs can make you feel less hungry – or they can change the way food tastes. Talk to your doctor about any changes in appetite.
Plan your meals
The more you plan, the less likely it will be that you will suddenly get overly hungry and reach for that bag of chips just because it’s convenient. Consider preparing meals in advance and freezing them, so you always have a healthy option on hand.
Don’t overdo it on the salt
Do you find you are using more table salt than you used to? One explanation is that as we age, our sense of taste can diminish so we naturally want to amp up the flavour of our food. But while some salt in our diets is necessary, too much can be harmful. Next time, instead of dousing your food with salt, try using other flavourful and healthy herbs and spices like garlic, ginger, oregano, and rosemary.
Dine with friends and family
Experts say that seniors who dine with friends and family are much more likely to eat healthy foods than those who dine alone.
If you are concerned about a senior loved one’s nutritional habits, home care can help. A home care worker can provide healthy meal planning and preparation as well as companionship.
Call VERA Home Care for more information!