Why Is Proper Nutrition Important For Seniors

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Nutrition For Seniors

As we grow older, proper nutrition is one of the keys to good health. This is especially true with seniors. Between making sure seniors get all the right nutrients to promote their health, they usually have to take conditions such as arthritis or diabetes into account when creating a diet plan. This can make senior nutrition a very challenging issue for families and caregivers alike.

According to expert nutritionists, there are six main nutrients seniors need to consume to maintain a healthy diet:

  •         Calcium
  •         Vitamin D
  •         Vitamin B12
  •         Sodium
  •         Fiber
  •         Water

How they consume these nutrients is entirely up to them and their caregiver. It helps to create a dietary plan that involves even distribution of all these nutrients throughout the week. Caregivers at companies such as A Better Way In Home Care can help seniors who are experiencing difficulties preparing or consuming the food on their own.

Conditions That Require Special Nutrition

Diabetes

More than 100 million U.S. citizens suffer from diabetes or its early stages, according to the CDC. This makes up 9.4% of the entire population. Seniors with diabetes have to follow strict nutritional rules and a diet low in carbs so the sugar levels are easier to control. Seniors with diabetes as well as their caregivers have to follow the doctor’s strict orders. Family members and caregivers should monitor the seniors’ food intake and create a schedule to help them keep diabetes in check.

Arthritis

One of the key issues seniors with arthritis have is mobility. Therefore, preparing meals on a daily basis can be particularly exhausting and sometimes impossible. Furthermore, some seniors have to follow an anti-inflammatory diet recommended by the doctor, so they can manage the pain. Around 54 million adult citizens are diagnosed with arthritis, with more never reporting to a doctor.

Heart Disease

One of the highest risks in seniors comes from heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack. Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the keys to preventing that. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with heart disease, nutrition is key to preventing the issue from spreading. The diet seniors with heart disease should follow is one low in sodium to manage the swelling and involves keeping their weight in check.

Dementia

Dementia or Alzheimer’s can prevent a senior from living a normal life by presenting a series of challenges most seniors cannot overcome on their own. Due to their inability to remember things, seniors may need help both preparing meals and consuming them. Seniors with these conditions need a helper around the home, whether it comes from a family member or a professional caregiver. They will need to make sure seniors are following their nutritional plan and eating regularly. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, seniors with Alzheimer’s should follow a dietary plan low in saturated fats.

Apart from these issues, seniors may face additional problems that can affect their diet, including:

  •         Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  •         Medication that affects their taste buds
  •         Depression
  •         Being unable to prepare food
  •         Loneliness

These are just some of the reasons senior caregivers need to help seniors maintain a healthy diet and help them overcome the obstacles they face on their journey through senior life. Apart from all these, having a caregiver can help seniors fight off the feeling of loneliness, which can affect their appetite and lead to malnutrition.

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