In the spirit of St Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d reference an Irish author and speaker, Karen O’Conner, who said it best in the title of her book, Getting Old Ain’t for Wimps: Inspirations and Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tickle Your Funny Bone.
This is so very true. Getting old is not for wimps. Aging adults over 65 endure many changes in their “golden years,” and some are quite subtle but serious.
As a Certified Senior Care Advisor, one of the most serious concerns my caregivers and I have is related to diminished senior appetites and the subsequent lack of nutrition. Often times, seniors suffer from a variety of health problems and physical issues simply because they don’t eat properly.
A healthy senior diet can combat diseases and conditions that are highly impacted by water intake and nutrition, such as dehydration, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, and so many more.
Seniors can avoid these diseases and others with proper nutrition. However, as senior nutritional needs evolve with age, physiological, perceptual, and age-related changes can make it much greater challenge.
Aging.com suggests there are 8 reasons why seniors may not eat properly and get these important vitamins and minerals to avoid health problems.
- Decreased Sensitivity
- Medication Side Effects
- Poor Dental Health
- Lack of Finances
- Lack of Transportation
- Physical Difficulties
- Memory Loss
Seniors who experience any one or more of the above are commonly deficient in vitamins A, B, C, D, E, folic acid, calcium, and niacin. Deficiencies in these vitamins and minerals negatively impact a senior’s health in some way shape or form. Balanced meals and a healthy elderly nutrition program can improve these deficiencies, if they include specific foods that are rich in nutrients, like carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables.
The best food choices that are recommended for healthy senior diets include:
- Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, flaxseed, soybeans, canola oil, walnuts
- Foods Rich in Calcium: milk, yogurt, cheese, leafy green vegetables, cereals fortified with calcium
- Foods Rich in Fiber: nuts, wholegrain cereal, wholegrain bread and pasta, brown rice, brown bread, fruits, and vegetables
- Foods Rich in Iron: beef, pork, poultry, seafood, nuts, spinach, dried fruit, peas, iron-fortified cereals, breads, pastas
- Foods Rich in Vitamin C: fruits, vegetables
- Foods Rich in Vitamin B12: milk, dairy, meat, poultry
- Foods Rich in Potassium: bananas, prunes, potatoes, fruits, vegetables
- Vitamin D: eggs, salmon, tuna, Vitamin D-fortified milk, cereal, yogurt, juices
- Magnesium: whole grains, nuts, fresh fruit, and vegetables
“According to a pyramid for older adults created by researchers from Tufts University, drinking eight glasses of water daily was next to physical activity in importance to health. As you age, your body’s ability to conserve water decreases, so you don’t feel thirsty as often. However, your body still needs water,” says Aging.com.
If physiological and psychological issues make it a challenge to go grocery shopping, plan and prepare meals, an in-home caregiver can help. Home Helpers® caregivers are capable of shopping for and cooking flavorful, nutritious foods, such as colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, all of which are vital for seniors to maintain good energy and lead a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Please remember, I offer a FREE consultation to assess and match the perfect, compassionate caregiver who can shop for groceries, plan and prepare healthy, delicious meals and snacks!
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for the fifth consecutive year: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539