If you aren’t sure what types of food your elderly loved one should be eating, you’re not alone. Also, should they be taking supplements? There are some eating and digestion difficulties that can crop up in the later years, so they should definitely be taken into account.
You and your parent’s home care provider can make a plan together to make sure your parent is following a healthy diet. If your senior has a major illness (such as diabetes, heart or kidney disease, etc.) there will be a specific diet to treat the condition. A registered dietician will likely formulate this diet, and give you ideas on how to make sure your loved one follows it.
There are many older people who are free of these major diseases because they have chosen to live a healthy lifestyle thus far. If they have been active physically, and have avoided obesity then they are already enjoying the benefits of a healthy body. As they continue to age, they might not be able to keep up with their former levels of activity.
Energy requirements for older adults change. If a person continues to eat the same amount of caloric energy when aging as they did in younger years, they would experience exponential weight gain. This is one of the factors that contribute to obesity in older years.
Eating too little food, causing an energy deficiency is also a problem. The immune system can end up being compromised or failing when there isn’t enough energy to sustain it. Caloric requirements are dependent on gender (men require more calories for metabolism than women) and amount of activity.
The Department of Agriculture came out with some guidelines for healthy older Americans which include the following:
- Limit intake of sodium to avert high blood pressure
- Consume healthy amounts of good fats such as liquid oils containing omega-3s, while cutting back on solid fats
- Limit intake of added refined sugars, especially liquid sugars which are added to sweetened soft drinks and sweetened fruit juices
- Refined grains such as white flour, white rice etc. should be switched out for whole grains and a wide variety of grains. For example, brown rice, pot barley, quinoa, oats etc.
- Increase the amount of time spent doing physical activities; decrease the amount of time being sedentary.
Because the elderly person consumes fewer calories as they age, it’s important to ensure the food they eat is nutrient dense. High calorie foods that are low in nutrients, such as potato chips, candy bars and candy should be avoided as much as possible. For a healthy snack idea, try real foods such as grapes, cheese and whole grain crackers.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiving services near Clear Lake Shores TX area, call Sheila’s Angels and talk to our caring staff about your needs. Sheila’s Angels Provides In-home Senior Care for the Houston Area. Serving Clear Lake City, League City, Friendswood, Pearland, Alvin, El Largo, Nassau Bay, Seabrook, Taylor Lake, Clear Lake Shores and surrounding communities.
For More Information or a FREE Consultation CALL 832-295-6456.