According to the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, 10% of California’s senior citizens live with “food insecurity.” The impact on their health is staggering, as “food-insecure seniors” eat fewer calories and smaller quantities of all 10 key nutrients and, as a result, are more likely to suffer heart attacks and/or bouts of depression.
Since the Baby Boom began in 1946, the earliest Baby Boomers are reaching their seventies. As a result, the senior population is increasing at a more rapid pace than other age-group populations. We see this trend in Southern California, where SYNERGY Home Care of Upland is based. Millions of seniors are living at home with their care provided by loved ones or licensed professionals. While you were growing up, your elders likely tried to provide you with healthy food so you would grow up to be strong. Now is the time to return the favor.
Whether you are trusting your beloved senior’s care to a trained professional, like the personnel at Synergy, or are managing their care yourself, we have a few tips for keeping them as healthy as possible throughout their Golden Years:
1. Make a Healthy Plate. Do you remember the Food Pyramid? The USDA recently unveiled a simpler way to show people what they should eat each day. The new plan is called Choose My Plate. The simple graphic explains how the building blocks for a healthy diet are made up of the five food groups.
2. Buy foods with important nutrients. Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Your senior citizen’s plate should look like a rainbow, featuring bright, vivid colors. A healthy meal should include: lean protein (lean meats, seafood, eggs, and beans); fruits and veggies; whole grains and low-fat dairy. Remember to choose foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium or salt. Also, look for Vitamin D, an important mineral as we age.
3. Get the facts. The healthiest foods are whole foods, which are often found on the perimeter of the grocery store. These include produce, meat, and dairy. When you serve your senior packaged foods, be smart! Read labels to find items that are low in fat, added sugars and sodium.
4. Follow serving recommendations. To help your senior loved one maintain his or her weight, serve the right amount of food according to their age and body type. The American Heart Association offers guidelines for serving adults who are aged 60 and above.
5. Stay hydrated. Water is an important nutrient. Don’t let your senior citizen get dehydrated. Serve them small amounts of fluids consistently throughout the day. Tea, coffee, and water are the best choices. Keep fluids with sugar and salt at a minimum, unless the doctor has suggested otherwise.
6. Stretch food budget. To get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck, refer to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which can help you buy healthy food on a tight budget. Over four million older Americans use SNAP to buy food. The average senior receives $113 per month. While that amount will not cover all of your senior citizen’s monthly food needs, it may offset some of their other expenses, such as in-home care.
SYNERGY is the only non-medical home care company with the proprietary C.A.R.E. Team approach. At SYNERGY Home Care, C.A.R.E. stands for Coordinated and Responsive Engagement and we don’t just provide home care, we provide solutions! Our Care Team members are trusted and experienced, thoroughly reference-checked, nationally background-checked, licensed, and insured. Invite us to your home for a FREE in-home consultation. Call 909-920-0333 or email LarryHogan@SynergyHomeCare.com for families living in Glendora, Covina, Walnut, West Covina, San Dimas, LaVerne, Pomona, Claremont, Ontario, Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga or Fontana, California. Why Synergy/Inland Empire? Because we C.A.R.E.!