Why Nutrition Is Vital for the Elderly

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Importance of Nutrients for Seniors in Waterloo, ON

Older adults have unique nutritional needs based on the many changes their bodies go through. Seniors must also ensure they receive adequate nutrition to prevent a variety of medical conditions. However, sensory deficits, cognitive impairment, financial, and other factors may cause varying degrees of malnutrition. Families should consider assisting their older loved ones to ensure they receive the nutrients they need.

Fiber

Seniors who no longer lead active lifestyles often develop constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders. By ensuring meals include an adequate amount of fiber, foods move through the system more easily. Inadequate fiber intake may also lead to gastrointestinal cancer. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts are excellent options for increasing fiber consumption.

Family caregivers should focus on daily nutrition to increase their loved one’s physical wellbeing. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Waterloo family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Protein

Despite getting older, seniors need to make sure they get sufficient amounts of protein in their diet. Protein is necessary for several functions, such as cell replication, growth, and repair. The iron derived from meat is also necessary to prevent anemia. Great options for protein include lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish. Red meat intake should be limited due to fat and extensive iron content. Other options include beans, legumes, nuts, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

Calcium

Older adults need to be aware of their calcium intake to keep their bones healthy, or they might become prone to osteoporosis. When the body doesn’t get enough calcium, it gets calcium from bones and teeth. Brittle bones increase the risk of fractures. Good sources of calcium include dairy products that also offer vitamin D. Cabbage, kale, spinach, figs, tofu, and fortified juices are other options.

B Vitamins

Many seniors are deficient in B vitamins, which are necessary to protect delicate peripheral nerve tissue. B vitamins are also essential for ongoing cognitive health. A deficiency in B12 has been associated with the development of dementia-like symptoms and memory loss. Lean meats, dairy products, eggs, fish, and fresh produce all provide B vitamins.

Seniors who require help with meal preparation and grocery shopping may want to consider hiring a professional caregiver. The home care services Waterloo seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is necessary to prevent vision impairment. As adults age, they may develop a variety of visual issues, such as night blindness and farsightedness. Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are rich in Vitamin A.

Saturated and Trans Fats

High levels of cholesterol from saturated and trans fat consumption has been linked to colon, pancreas, and prostate cancers. High-fat diets may also contribute to hypertension as blood vessels become blocked due to fatty plaque formation. High cholesterol levels that impair blood vessels also have the potential to damage the heart. Older adults must pay particular attention to their cholesterol levels, as they tend to rise with age. Excess fat intake also leads to obesity and the possibility of developing diabetes, which further poses a potential risk for the cardiovascular system and cognitive function. Seniors should limit or avoid snacks and fast foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar. 

Avoiding harmful foods helps aging adults mitigate the risk of age-related diseases and boost their overall health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Waterloo Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To hire a trained in-home caregiver, contact us today at (647) 992 0224.