5 Essential Nutrients for Aging Adults

Eating a healthy diet is necessary regardless of age. However, as your senior loved one ages, his or her body will have different needs in comparison to his younger years. Certain nutrients will be extremely important for your senior loved one’s health, helping him or her fight off infections, heart disease, bone disease, memory loss, and other age-related issues. When caring for your aging loved one, it is important for you to prepare healthy meals for him or her.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Kitchener Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Here’s a look at 5 essential nutrients your loved one’s diet should have.

1. Fiber

This nutrient can help your senior loved one maintain a normal and healthy life. Getting plenty of fiber can lower your loved one’s risk of heart disease. Eating foods high in fiber can also help your senior loved one maintain a healthy weight, which can prevent obesity and type-2 diabetes.

These are some of the best high-fiber foods for seniors to eat:

  • Beans
  • Cereals
  • Peas
  • Whole-grain breads

2. Vitamin D and Calcium

As seniors age, their bones begin to weaken, making them more susceptible to slips, falls, and other injuries. The more vitamin D and calcium your loved one has, the better his or her bone health will be. These nutrients can also help prevent or slow down the progression of osteoporosis.

Here are some calcium-rich food and beverage options for your loved one:

  • Canned fish (with soft bones)
  • Dark leafy green vegetables
  • Fortified cereals
  • Fruit juices

If your senior loved one decides to take a calcium supplement, be sure he or she chooses one that contains vitamin D.

3. Potassium

High blood pressure impacts many seniors, and it can lead to a stroke, heart attack, and other serious health issues. However, increasing potassium intake helps your loved one reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Your loved one should also limit his or her sodium intake. Instead, prepare or select foods that have little or no salt.

Here are some of the best potassium-rich foods seniors can include in their diets:

  • Fruits
  • Fat-free or low-fat milk
  • Vegetables
  • Yogurt

4. Vitamin B12

Seniors over the age of 65 do not get as much of this vitamin, but it is very important for the digestive system. Low levels of vitamin B12 can cause intestine issues for seniors, as well as permanent nerve damage.

Here are some great sources of vitamin B12 that should be included in your senior loved one’s diet:

  • Lean meat
  • Seafood
  • Fortified cereal

You can also take a break from your caregiving duties, visit your loved one’s doctor, and ask him or her if your loved one should take a vitamin B12 supplement. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs 24-hour care, Kitchener, ON, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

More seniors have arthritis than any other age group, which is why your loved one needs plenty of unsaturated fats. Omega-3 fatty acids can help your loved one curb stiffness and prevent joint pain. These fats also help prevent brain inflammation, which could preserve memory and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Canola oil, fish, beans, and walnuts are some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating foods with saturated fats also reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who do not have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. For trusted Kitchener Alzheimer’s home care, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. Call (519) 954-2111 today to learn about our patent approach to Alzheimer’s care.

How to Manage Epilepsy in Aging Adults

Seizures become more common during the senior years, and it is important to learn how to manage them so your loved one stays safe. While some seniors have lived with epilepsy all their lives, others may experience a new diagnosis due to chronic conditions or other health issues.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Waterloo families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Whatever the cause may be, you can help your loved one manage epilepsy and prevent seizures by using these strategies.

Provide Assistance with Medication Management

Seniors are often prescribed medications to keep seizures under control. However, seizures can generate memory lapses that make it hard to remember when it is time to take a dose. As a caregiver, you can help your loved one remember when to take medication by setting up a reminder and logging system. Alternatively, automated medication dispensers are available to help your loved one keep track of multiple pills.

Minimize the Risk of Injuries

Seniors who live independently are at great risk when they have epilepsy. For example, having a seizure while cooking or smoking can lead to house fires. Seniors can also slip and fall in the shower during a bath when having a seizure. Talk to your loved one about ways to minimize these risks such as quitting smoking and using appliances with automatic shut off options. When seizures are frequent or severe, it is also helpful to have a caregiver nearby while your loved one showers. You may also need to rearrange your loved one’s floor to decrease the risk of head injuries from falling. For example, removing furniture with sharp corners from the walking path can protect your loved one if he or she falls.

Frequent and severe seizures can indicate the onset of dementia. If your senior loved one experiences seizures every now and then, make sure to consult his or her doctor. For dementia care Waterloo, ON, families can count on, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers use revolutionary memory care programs to help seniors stave off the progression of dementia, and they can also assist with a wide variety of important everyday tasks, including bathing, grooming, exercise, and cooking.

Arrange for Transportation Services

Driving eventually becomes a concern for most seniors as they advance in age. However, those who have seizures need to take additional precautions. While aging adults do not like the thought of losing their independence, seniors with epilepsy may need to turn over their keys until their seizures are under control. Caregivers can prevent seniors from feeling trapped at home by arranging for transportation services that give them opportunities to get out and socialize. This also helps seniors attend critical medical appointments without putting themselves or others in danger.

Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle

There are several things that can trigger a seizure. However, it is understood that fatigue, nutritional deficiencies, and the abuse of drugs or alcohol can contribute to increased seizures. Help your loved one set up a daily routine that takes care of his or her physical needs for rest and nutrition. If necessary, arrange for help to make sure your loved one does not become overwhelmed with housework and other responsibilities. By encouraging a healthy lifestyle, you can decrease the impact of epilepsy on your loved one’s wellbeing.

Socialization and social stimulation can reduce the risk of seizures and other health conditions in seniors. For seniors living in Waterloo, ON, hourly care can be a wonderful solution when they need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. If you need respite from your caregiving duties, give us a call at (519) 954-2111 today.