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Proper Nutrition for Older Adults Helps Maintain Health

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It’s no secret that proper nutrition for older adults is crucial for a healthy body. What many people don’t recognize, however, is that nutritional requirements for adults change as we age. Nutritional specialists at Tufts University have developed the MyPlate system for older adults, which is a more advanced variation of the earlier food pyramid, supplying updated dietary advice for older individuals in particular.  

The MyPlate for Older Adults model contains important information on foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and low in sugar, salt, and fat; however, it also offers guidance on topics such as advised physical activities and fluid consumption, issues that are of special concern for seniors. 

Because activity levels are oftentimes decreased, seniors tend to require fewer calories as they age, but they also still require equal or higher levels of nutrients and regular activity for ideal health. MyPlate for Older Adults recommends: 

  • Bright-colored vegetables, such as peppers and carrots 
  • Deeply-colored fruits, such as berries and melons 
  • Whole, fortified, enriched grains and cereals, like brown rice 
  • Low- and non-fat dairy products, including yogurt and low lactose milk 
  • Liquid vegetable oils and soft spreads, which contain less saturated and trans fats 
  • Spices instead of salt 
  • Liquids such as water and fat-free milk 
  • Physical activity, such as walking, resistance training, and light household chores 

In addition, further recommendations include taking advantage of options that are simpler to prepare and decrease waste, such as bags of frozen pre-cut vegetables and individual-portion cups of fruit. 

At San Diego Home Caregivers, we realize it can be a challenge to help aging loved ones follow a nutritious diet. A trained and experienced San Diego home nurse can help plan and prepare nourishing, appetizing meals according to your loved one’s specific nutritional needs, as well as help in a variety of other waysContact us online or call us at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our top-rated home care services and to request a free in-home evaluation. 

Senior Nutrition: Warning Signs That May Point to a Lack of a Nutrient-Rich Diet

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A mother’s love for her child knows no age limits. And parents of all ages want more than anything to shield their children from difficulty, which in some cases could mean covering up their own challenges. Furthermore, when their loved ones live at a distance, it can be hard to really know without a doubt just how healthy older parents are. 

One of the leading challenges of aging is the decline in satisfying nutritional needs. If you believe your elderly loved ones might possibly not be getting adequate senior nutrition to continue to be healthy and well, this short analysis can help identify possible red flags: 

  1. Has the senior revealed a loss of appetite, trouble with digesting food, or chewing or swallowing challenges? Has there been a decline in food consumption over the past several months as a result? 
  2. Has the older adult experienced a loss of weight over the past several months? Losing weight, particularly for those with a more sedentary way of life, can indicate that the person is not eating properly. 
  3. Does the senior have a problem with mobility? Being confined to the home can create nutritional challenges, as it is more problematic to get groceries or fix meals. 
  4. Has the older person been under psychological stress or experienced an acute disease in the past couple of months? 
  5. What is the older person’s body mass index (BMI)? A BMI of 18.5 or lower can suggest that the person is not eating enough, while a BMI of 30 or higher can signify obesity.  

If you determine through answering these questions that an older loved one might be experiencing problems with  senior nutrition, it’s a good idea to consult with his or her doctor. San Diego Home Caregivers can also help improve health and wellbeing for older adults through services like: 

  • Food preparation 
  • Transportation to doctor appointments 
  • Light housekeeping 
  • Running errands 
  • Medication reminders 
  • And more  

Our San Diego Home Caregivers team is compassionate, background screened and available for as much or as little care as desired. You can get in touch with us online or call our care team at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our professional elderly home care in San Diego and the surrounding areas.