Did you know March is National Nutrition Month? This observation is meant to increase awareness about healthy eating habits as well as understanding the benefits and need for consistent exercise habits. It’s well-known that establishing proper nutrition can increase life expectancy as well as decrease the chances of developing certain illnesses and disabilities such as heart disease. Unfortunately, as we age it can be difficult to keep up with proper nutrition. At LivHOME, we have a few tips on how to ensure that your loved one is getting the nutrition they need in order to stay healthy and happy.
Look for Vital Nutrients.
Just as you would want to make sure your newborn was getting the nutrients they need, it’s important that seniors are always eating balanced meals. Balanced meals include lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Keep in mind that in most cases the older we get the less likely our bodies are to properly digest certain types of foods. For instance, lactose (found in dairy products) may not agree with most. In this case, milk alternatives are available.
Use Proper Portions.
What many of us fail to abide by is portion sizes. Your senior may be eating healthy meals, but due to slower metabolisms portion sizes may need to be adjusted for older individuals. Not sure what the serving size is for your loved one? The American Heart Association has recommended serving sizes for those over 60.
We all depend on water, but it’s our senior population who is usually in need of it most. Dehydration is a major issue for older individuals and it can lead to a myriad of other issues down the road, such as digestive problems, headaches, decreased immune system and dry mouth (which in turn leads to cavities). At LivHOME, the majority of those we take care of are one medications whose side effects are dehydration and dry mouth. It’s crucial to always make sure your loved one has a glass of water within reach.
Identify Healthy Plates of Food.
Although it may seem easy enough, caregivers will usually have varying opinions on what a healthy plate looks like. We’ve all established that fried foods are a no-go when it comes to eating healthy, but what about that bowl of whole grain pasta? Our senior home care company always recommends opting for home-cooked meals, that way you’ll know exactly what types of ingredients are going into the meal. Be sure to include vegetables, lean meat and simple carbs. If your loved one is struggling to prepare a meal for themselves, our in-home Caregivers are here to provide homemaking services such as meal prep and running trips to the grocery store to pick up ingredients.
Healthy living for seniors often starts with proper nutrition. For more information about how LivHOME can help your loved one with a healthy diet, contact us today!