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How to Address an Older Adult’s Changing Nutritional Needs

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Many seniors end up eating the same foods during their golden years that they ate during their youth. However, the body’s nutritional needs change as people age, so seniors should adjust their diets accordingly. Getting the right types of nutrition each day can greatly enhance a senior’s health. You can help your senior loved one address his or her changing dietary requirements by taking the following steps.

Avoid Serving Foods with Empty Calories

Metabolism tends to slow down with age, and seniors may need to eat fewer calories if they want to prevent obesity. Because it is still important for the body to get enough nutrients, seniors should avoid eating foods like white bread or candy that just provide calories without any nutrients.

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help preparing healthy meals to meet his or her daily nutritional requirements. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care company, Naples, FL, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

Include More Fiber

The average senior diet tends to be very low in fiber because seniors often avoid foods that are difficult to chew. Fiber is a type of indigestible food that plays an important role in digestion, helps seniors feel full without eating too much, and keeps blood sugar levels stable. A high-fiber diet is also linked to lower risks of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Seniors should try to boost their fiber intake by adding fiber supplements to their diets and eating vegetables and fruits without peeling off the skins.

Monitor Calcium Intake

As people get older, their bones tend to lose bone tissue faster than they replace it. Bone loss could eventually lead to osteoporosis, which can cause fragile bones that break easily. To prevent osteoporosis, seniors need to eat foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D. Dairy products and dark, leafy green vegetables can be great sources of calcium.

Serve Lean Proteins

Seniors are at risk of heart disease due to having a weakened circulatory system, and eating a lot of saturated fats can damage arteries even more. Many seniors only get protein from fatty cuts of meat, so they end up with protein deficiencies when they cut back on saturated fats. Protein is still important because it keeps a person feeling full and energetic all day long. In addition to lean cuts of meat, tofu, yogurt, eggs, and lentils are great sources of protein.

Seniors with heart disease or other medical conditions often need help preparing healthy meals. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Naples respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Increase B12 Intake

After the age of 50, the body does not produce as much stomach acid, so it cannot easily break food down into B12. Vitamin B12 deficiencies can cause serious issues, including anemia and dementia-like symptoms. Serve cereals and other foods fortified with extra vitamin B12 to make sure your loved one gets enough of this important vitamin.

Addressing your senior loved one’s changing nutritional needs is one of the many ways to ensure he or she enjoys a high quality of life. Get in touch with Home Care Assistance to find out how a Naples, Florida, elderly caregiver can help your aging loved one live a longer, healthier, and happier life. Our caregivers are available 24/7, all of our senior care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, give us a call at (239) 449-4701 today.