Senior Care in North Houston, TX
As 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.
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.