As we age, our bodies change. This blanket statement can cover a lot of topics, but when it comes to the health of senior citizens, it’s important to know that your nutritional needs can change in addition to your taste buds. The result for many elderly residents is malnutrition, a lack of the ingredients needed for optimal health. Proper nutrition is beneficial at all stages of life, but for senior citizens, it can prove to be a missing piece to the puzzle known as happiness.
Your Healing Touch understands the complex and diverse needs of senior citizens across Indiana, and our in-home nursing team stands ready to care for your aging loved one. We strive to deliver the best in-home personal care in Indianapolis, delivering personalized services to ensure that your family member has the best resources to enjoy their time here.
While our at-home care staff are trained to provide comprehensive medical care, including wound treatments, cardiovascular diseases, and more, we can also provide non-skilled care to support an overall healthy lifestyle. Today, we’ll discuss the importance of nutrition for struggling seniors, as well as the quality that Your Healing Touch provides to every situation.
Challenges in Eating
While young children hate the idea of finishing their greens, many senior citizens opt out of proper nutrition because they simply cannot finish their plate. A number of changes may impact your loved one’s ability to enjoy their meal, many of them physical. In combination with perceptual issues, your loved one may be facing a wide range of conditions that may impact their ability to eat, including:
- Chewing discomfort. Many elderly residents rely on dentures to provide a stable chewing platform, but tooth loss, gum loss, and improperly fitting dentures can all impact your ability to eat. Seniors who report meal dissatisfaction often benefit from an oral health screening.
- Stomach pains. Digestion can prove more problematic as we age, with problems such as gas, cramping, and constipation leading to reduced dietary intakes. Residents who feel sick or unwell due to digestive problems are more likely to skip future meals.
- Reduced energy. Your energy levels tend to decrease with age, making the process of shopping, preparing, and cooking a meal difficult for many senior citizens. Between slowing metabolisms and reduced physical exercise, your loved one may not have the drive to complete a full meal. Our in-home senior care specialists can help to find healthy ways to boost energy.
- Difficulty hearing. While your family may not realize it, decreased hearing levels can greatly affect an individual’s diet. Many seniors report frustration over not being able to hear at the table, and struggling to stay in the conversation. When it comes to eating in loud, public places, your elderly resident may simply opt out.
- Loss of smell. As you can imagine, a reduced sense of smell can directly impact the flavor and content of a delicious meal.
- Less taste. The previous issues can play a role in addition to reduced taste buds to create an obvious reason for not eating as much — food doesn’t taste as good. Our home care services can include meal plans to ensure your loved one is happy with the quality of their food!
Differing Nutritional Needs for Aging Seniors
Eating right is an essential step in maintaining optimal levels of health, and as we age, this need for nutrition becomes even more valuable. Senior citizens have different nutritional demands, based on their specific vulnerabilities to age-related issues. A few key elements to focus on to ensure complete coverage for your family member include:
- Bone health – Seniors rely on vitamin D and calcium to deliver the nutrients needed for strong, healthy bones. Problems such as arthritis and osteoporosis can develop over time, making it very beneficial to ensure that your loved one is stocked up on milk, fortified cereals, fruit juices, and more.
- Energy levels – B vitamins can prove beneficial for restoring your body’s health and delivering increased energy levels. Vitamin B12, for example, plays a major role in red blood cell health, nerve function, and more.
- Heart health – Heart disease is a top killer in this country, making it highly beneficial to include dietary measures such as increased potassium, vitamin D, and folic acid while minimizing elements such as sodium.
- Digestive systems – Introducing more fiber can do a lot to help seniors with stomach issues. Fiber-rich meals can slow down digestion, allowing the body to absorb more vital nutrients before moving on. The result is regular digestion and increased nutrient absorption within the body.
- Unsaturated fats – Everyone has been told to avoid saturated fats, but the healthier variety is needed for delivering energy and carrying all of the vitamins needed for success. Seniors can expect more energy and meal satisfaction when they meet their daily fat requirements.
There are many aspects to senior nutrition that should be taken care of to ensure a lifetime of happy, healthy outcomes. If your aging loved one is struggling to eat enough, our in-home senior care team is here and happy to lend a hand. Your Healing Touch is here to serve as your trusted in-home care professionals across Indianapolis, delivering personalized care to ensure the best possible results for your loved one.
Contact us today to learn more about the value of our comprehensive in-home personal care. Your Healing Touch is here and available for consultations!