Community Blog

Focus on Seniors and Nutrition in March

By Debbie Humphrey

It’s been said, “With age comes wisdom.” We know what we should and should not do in terms of our health and well-being, but do we follow the route of common sense and take care of ourselves the way we should? Or do we succumb to our weaknesses and disregard what we know to be true?

March is National Nutrition Month making it a great time to review some important information about seniors and nutrition about which you may not be aware.

As we age, our bodies and our senses change, which can alter the way we select and consume foods. For seniors, nutrition is incredibly important to sustain one’s health, vitality and overall quality of life. However, thanks to physiological, perceptual and age-related conditions, seniors often make poor nutritional choices which can lead to malnutrition, often disguised as disease or illness.

Eating watermelonPhysiologically, seniors do not expend as much energy as they once did, so not as many calories are needed each day. Other changes include a reduction in kidney function, redistribution of body composition and changes in the nervous system.

Perceptually, seniors’ hearing, taste, smell and vision diminish with age. Attempting to eat out in a noisy environment can be difficult when you can’t hear your dining companion and hold a conversation, which inhibits a positive food experience. The taste buds don’t translate flavors the same anymore. What once was salty and sweet is now more bitter and sour. Aromas may become too strong or too weak to prompt healthy choices at mealtime.

Age-Related conditions involving dental and gastrointestinal systems make a significant impact on seniors and nutrition. Dentures that do not fit properly, or gastro issues like constipation, gas, and gastritis, may keep seniors from eating healthy fruits, veggies and grains, which should be prominent in seniors’ daily diets.

If you are concerned that a senior you love is not getting proper nourishment, consider an in-home consultation with the professionals at Home Helpers. Their compassionate caregivers can provide grocery shopping services, prepare meals and snacks, and assist with making sure seniors are getting the nourishment they require for a happy, healthy life. 727-942-2539

Information obtained from aplaceformom.com/blog/seniors-nutritional-needs