Everyone knows the importance of proper nutrition for older adults; however, knowing and doing are sometimes worlds apart. As people age, it’s even more crucial to steer clear of the temptations of making unhealthy food choices – and, often harder. For most seniors, lifestyle choices are influenced by a number of factors:
- Prescription drug complications that affect taste and/or appetite
- Loss of family and friends, making mealtime a solitary time
- Lack of interest in cooking for just one
- And others
But there’s one prevailing – yet little discussed – cause for unhealthy eating in the elderly: monetary limitations. Seniors with limited funds can find it tough to afford fresh, healthy foods, which typically cost significantly more than a fast food meal or can of soup. These strategies from the National Council on Aging might help:
- Bear in mind that adhering to a wholesome diet can greatly improve health, together with the prospect of preventing doctor visits and hospitalizations – saving older adults money in the long run.
- See if a senior you love is eligible for SNAP, a government program that covers the cost for fresh foods, including include veggies and fruits. Visit BenefitsCheckUp.org to check eligibility. The average benefit to seniors is $100/month.
- Check into the senior’s local Meals on Wheels program, which provides nutritious meals to the elderly, combined with the added benefit of a helpful volunteer who will deliver the food and improve socialization.
- If throwing away fresh food is a problem for a senior loved one who lives solo, frozen fruits and veggies are an excellent alternative, making it possible for convenient preparation of individual-sized portions.
Keep the following in mind to ensure your older family members are making the best food choices:
- Review the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate for older adults with special dietary and exercise suggestions for individuals 65 and older.
- Strive for a variety of colors, specifically brightly-colored foods such as tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, pumpkin, etc.
- Incorporate lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods, keeping sodium and sugar to a minimum while ensuring an abundance of fiber and nutrients that are especially important in aging, such as vitamin D.
Turn to the aging care specialists at Absolute Companion Care for even more strategies to assist the older adults you love make and keep good nutrition habits. We are always available to help with grocery shopping, meal planning and preparation, and making certain the house is filled with plenty of nourishing choices, together with sharing mealtimes with older adults to make them more enjoyable. We’ll even clean up the kitchen afterwards! Give us a call at 410-357-9640 to learn more about top-rated in home care in Towson and the surrounding areas.