How to Address an Older Adult’s Changes in Nutritional Needs

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Proper nutrition is important for seniors who need the right combination of vitamins and minerals to stay in good health. However, the changes that accompany aging sometimes require seniors to adjust their diets to meet the recommendations for healthy eating. Use these strategies to address your senior loved one’s changing nutritional needs.

Talk to a Doctor

A senior’s nutritional needs can change quickly depending on his or her current state of health. For instance, a senior with prediabetes may be able to eat more fruits once his or her blood sugar is under control. Alternatively, a senior may put on weight or lose appetite as a side effect of a particular medication. Begin including a discussion of nutritional recommendations in your loved one’s healthcare plans so he or she has a better understanding of how his or her diet may need to be changed.

Older adults often require help preparing healthy meals to meet their daily nutritional needs. The home care services Pembroke Pines, FL, 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.

Use Natural Flavorings

Seniors are often encouraged to restrict their salt intake to manage common health conditions such as high blood pressure. However, many seasonings have a lot of salt in them, and cutting them out of the diet may make seniors feel as though all of their food is bland. Encourage your loved one to try out natural seasonings such as fresh herbs that give meals more flavor while also increasing the nutritional value of the food.

Provide Several Smaller Meals

Digestion often slows down in the senior years, which could make it difficult for aging adults to eat enough food to meet their needs. If this happens to your loved one, provide smaller meals packed with as much nutrition as possible. To make up for the smaller portions, consider serving snacks in between that add up to the equivalent of three bigger meals.

Incorporate Superfoods

Although there are no magical ingredients that can boost a senior’s health, there are certain foods known for having multiple benefits. For instance, walnuts are a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids that enhance a senior’s memory, and tomatoes contain lycopene, which is known for boosting heart health. Using ingredients in your loved one’s meals that provide major health benefits can help him or her get the most out of each bite, especially if he or she lacks an appetite.

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your senior loved one needs help preparing healthy meals and snacks. Families looking to hire a Pembroke Pines caregiver can reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers receive extensive ongoing training to ensure they provide the high-quality in-home care seniors need and deserve.

Encourage Better Digestion

A senior’s changing metabolism may make it difficult for his or her body to absorb all of the nutrients from food. This may be especially true if your loved one gets dehydrated easily or has difficulty chewing food. You can adjust your meal preparation strategies to fit these needs by cutting food up into smaller bite-sized pieces and serving plenty of water at each meal. 

Find Healthy Substitutions

Many ingredients can be swapped out with others to increase the healthfulness of a dish. For example, applesauce can be used in place of butter in many recipes, and Greek yogurt makes an excellent substitution for sour cream. Experiment with a few different ingredients to see which ones your loved one enjoys the most so he or she can still eat favorite foods.

Addressing your loved one’s changing nutritional needs can be a difficult task, especially if you have other important duties to tend to. Consider taking a break from your caregiving duties if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs 24-hour home care, Pembroke Pines, Florida, 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. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, call us at (954) 374-8273 today.

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