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.
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:
- 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.
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:
- Fat-free or low-fat milk
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
- 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) 590-2792 today to learn about our patent approach to Alzheimer’s care.