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Understanding Nutrition as Seniors Age

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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it’s not always easy to provide healthy meals and adequate nutrition for your loved one in senior care. Most seniors have preferences for food and some may even prefer a specific eating lifestyle, such as vegetarian, fruitarian, or pescatarian.

Making nutrition even more complicated, each doctor may recommend specific foods or nutrients for any chronic conditions. Physicians might restrict salt, sugar, fats or meats because of diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and other conditions. It’s best to manage food choices as much as possible by keeping only the recommended foods available.

Many older adults take multiple drugs regularly. Vitamins and supplements add another challenge for people in senior care because of potential drug interactions.

Nonetheless, just when you think you have a good understanding of what is necessary for your loved one in senior care, he or she may simply refuse to eat or accept diet limitations. That’s another issue and it’s important to remember to be respectful of personal wishes for lifestyle choices.

Learning about the nutritional needs of your loved one in senior care is essential as part of quality health management, but family and caregivers can only do their best.

4 chronic conditions with symptoms that may be lessened or even eliminated by special diet choices:

Arthritis – With 54 million people afflicted in the U.S, arthritis can cause considerable pain, but eliminating foods from the nightshade family and eating an anti-inflammatory diet may help by reducing discomfort and inflammation.

Diabetes – Diabetes, and prediabetes affect over 100 million U.S. adults. A low-carb, low-sugar diet is considered best for better blood sugar maintenance.

Heart Disease – Cardiac problems may be helped by reduced-sodium diets. Typically, eating less sodium lessens ankle and leg swelling. A weight-loss diet would be preferred when someone is overweight.

Dementia – Dementia (including Alzheimer’s) can be a big challenge. People in senior care who have dementia may forget to eat altogether and they might have higher cognition with a diet lower in saturated fats. When dementia progresses, there may be a difficulty with swallowing and eventually, a soft diet will be required.

Prevent your loved one’s loneliness by eating together at mealtime when possible. If you can’t be there, remember to call us at Concierge Care. Our compassionate caregivers working in senior care will help encourage good nutrition, bringing peace of mind for you and your family. Give us a call today!

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