Proper Nutrition for Aging Seniors

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Proper Nutrition for Aging Seniors

Senior Care in North Houston, TX

Senior Care in North Houston, TXAs the body grows older, many changes occur, and as a result, seniors have nutritional needs that are very different from those of younger adults. It’s important that family members and elder care professionals work together to ensure seniors are getting the nutrition they need. Here’s a closer look at how the aging body changes and some helpful nutritional tips for elderly individuals

Changes in the Senior Body

Age related changes in the body affect the way the body processes nutrients, changing appetite and affecting dietary needs in the elderly. Some of the changes in the senior body include:

Changes in the Digestive System – The body doesn’t produce as much of the fluids needed to process food within the digestive system. This makes it difficult for the body to absorb essential nutrients, such as vitamin B12 and folic acid.

The Metabolism Slows – As seniors age, their metabolism naturally slows down, particularly in those who aren’t exercising enough. A slower metabolism means that seniors don’t need to eat as much to maintain a healthy weight.   

Changes in Appetite – Since many seniors take multiple medications, these medications often cause side effects like upset stomach or lack of appetite. This often results in poor nutrition.

Helpful Eating Tips for Seniors

Making sure that seniors eat nutrient-rich, healthy foods is important, especially since many seniors aren’t eating as much as they used to. Home care professionals and family members can use these tips to ensure seniors receive the nutrition they need.

Tip #1 – Plenty of Water is Important – Seniors need to stay hydrated. Ensure they drink plenty of water and serve foods high in water content, such as melons, cucumbers, soups, or grapes.

Tip #2 – Stick with Healthy Fats – Instead of choosing trans fats or saturated fats, cook with healthy fats found in vegetable oils, nuts, fatty fish, seeds, and avocados.

Tip #3 – Limit Certain Foods – Sweets, fatty foods, alcohol, salt, junk food, and regular coffee should be limited.

Tip #4 – Add Plenty of Protein – Protein is important for maintaining muscle in the elderly. Great protein choices include chicken, fish, nuts, lean meats, beans, and eggs.

Tip #5 – Go with Whole Grains – Many seniors have problems with digestion. Whole grains are fiber-rich, which will improve digestion while offering important heart benefits. Whole grain cereals, whole wheat bread, and brown rice are great options.

Tip #6 – Don’t Forget Calcium – Calcium is especially important for seniors, since it helps protect bone health. Low-fat dairy products offer a great way to get calcium. Some seniors may also need a calcium supplement paired with a vitamin D supplement.

Tip #7 – Include High-Fiber Foods – High fiber foods, such as raw veggies and fruits provide important vitamins for seniors and help to reduce problems with constipation. These foods also help to reduce the risk of heart issues while helping with weight maintenance.

With these helpful tips, it’s possible to make helpful changes to a senior’s diet, ensuring they get the nutrition they need to stay as healthy as possible. For more helpful nutrition information, talk to a senior care professional.

Source

http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/seniors.htm

http://www.everydayhealth.com/senior-health/understanding/diet-and-aging-gaining-a-nutritional-edge.aspx

http://www.edinformatics.com/health_fitness/nutrition_seniors.htm

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrition-vitamins-11/senior-nutrition

If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of senior care in North Houston, TX, contact the caregivers at SYNERGY HomeCare. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (281) 407-1200 for more information.

Chad Jolley
Chad Jolley

As the owner of SYNERGY HomeCare of Houston and as a son trying disparately to find help for his parents, Mr. Jolley has worked within the senior healthcare field for over a decade. Beginning his work overseeing the care of his father who became critically ill following a stroke in 2004, he has continued to develop his expertise by aiding seniors, adult disabled and veterans in their search for truly compassionate and dependable care through SYNERGY HomeCare. Mr. Jolley received his designation as a Certified Senior Adviser in 2007 and continues to use his years of knowledge and experience to help other families find the care and peace of mind they need.

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