Diet and exercise are essential for achieving and maintaining optimal health at any age. For seniors, it can be more challenging to strike the best balance between getting the nutrition they need while controlling the number of calories they eat. With age, metabolism slows, so seniors need fewer calories to stay at a healthy weight. At the same time, consuming a variety of nutrients is important to prevent the onset or advancement of some health conditions, such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s. In many cases, the best approach is to start substituting healthier foods for the unhealthy ones seniors currently eat. Making changes gradually will allow them to adjust their eating habits in a positive way they can learn to enjoy.
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of any healthy diet, and the greater the variety, the better. Fresh raw vegetables have the greatest nutrition, with frozen ones being the second best choice. Canned vegetables and fruits often contain a lot of salt and/or sugar that should be limited.
A diet that’s high in fiber is important for seniors to keep their digestive systems healthy, and broccoli, peas, and Brussels sprouts are good sources of fiber. Apples, strawberries, oranges, and bananas are the fruits with the most fiber, and they also include a variety of important vitamins and antioxidants that promote good health.
Protein helps seniors maintain muscle mass and resist stress, anxiety, and depression. All types of fish and seafood, poultry, eggs, and lentils are good sources of low-fat protein. Stick with whole foods, and avoid processed meats that are high in sodium.
If your loved one needs help planning and preparing nutritious meals, a home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Embrace In-Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Nuts & Seeds
A variety of nuts and seeds can provide seniors with powerful antioxidants and healthy fats that are much better choices than sweets or chips with too many calories or the wrong types of fat. Seniors can eat nuts and seeds alone as a snack or on salads in place of croutons.
Replace white bread and starchy foods like potatoes with those that contain whole grains. Start your loved one’s day off with a whole-grain muffin, a bowl of cereal, or some oatmeal to get a boost of fiber instead of a dose of sugar from sweet cereals or pastries.
Family caregivers also need to pay attention to their own health, and that involves taking time to nurture their own wellbeing. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Green Valley families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
Choose milk and cheese fortified with vitamin D, an essential nutrient many seniors often get too little of. Vitamin D is needed for the absorption of calcium to strengthen bones. The vitamin also plays a role in immunity, regulating cell growth and carrying messages through the nervous system.
A trained professional caregiver can be an ideal resource when you’re trying to help your loved one lead a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care Green Valley families can rely on Embrace In-Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (520) 625-2050.