After spending decades consuming red meat, processed foods, and sugary drinks, it can be difficult to break these dietary habits. However, it’s not impossible, and seniors should strive to follow healthy diets rich in vitamins and minerals. If you believe your senior loved one needs a healthier diet, help him or her establish new eating habits. The La Mesa home care specialists at Coast Care Partners discuss seven signs older adults need a healthier diet.
1. Low Energy
If your loved one isn’t getting adequate nutrition, his or her energy levels could decrease. Your parent might seem sluggish or lethargic and take more naps than usual. For some seniors, low energy is caused by a deficiency in vitamin B12. When you help your loved one create a healthy diet plan, make sure to include foods rich in vitamin B12 like tuna and breakfast cereals.
2. Weakened Bones
When seniors don’t get the recommended amount of calcium, it impacts their bone health. Signs of bone atrophy include poor posture, decreased mobility, and greater susceptibility to injuries. If you’re worried about your loved one’s bone health, make sure he or she gets plenty of calcium and vitamin D every day. Adding a few tablespoons of nonfat powdered milk to dinner recipes is one of the best ways to increase your loved one’s calcium intake.
3. Frequent Illnesses
Poor immune health is one of the most common signs of inadequate nutrition in seniors. If you notice your loved one is always under the weather, it may be time to add some immune-boosting nutrients to his or her diet. Foods that enhance the immune system include Greek yogurt, leafy greens, antioxidant-rich berries, and sweet potatoes.
4. Poor Vital Signs
Vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure are an indicator of overall health. When vital sign scores start to deteriorate, your loved one may become more susceptible to cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes. It also means your loved one may have to adjust his or her diet. If your loved one’s current nutritional intake is filled with high-fat foods, he or she should swap red meat for lean proteins and french fries for fruits and vegetables.
Seniors should always try to maintain a healthy weight, as it lowers the risk for many diseases. When seniors are overweight, it’s usually a sign they’re not getting the nutrition they need. Caregivers can help overweight seniors lower their daily caloric intake and remove high-fat foods from their diets.
6. Being Underweight
Underweight seniors may be incapable of preparing food on their own or have limited access to fresh food. They could also be facing emotional issues like depression, or perhaps their sense of taste has changed. Once you figure out why your loved one has been losing weight, you can reinstate a healthy daily diet.
7. Poor Digestion
Many seniors experience indigestion, diarrhea, stomach pains, and constipation. To aid digestion, seniors should consume more fiber, which can be found in foods like whole grains, nuts, beans, and fruits. They should also avoid foods that slow down the digestive process, like red meat and processed grains.
Older adults who need help switching to nutritious foods should consider professional in-home care. La Mesa, CA, families can trust Coast Care Partners for high-quality elderly home care services. Our caregivers help seniors make healthy lifestyle choices that promote longevity and mitigate the impact of several age-related conditions. We also offer extensive 24-hour care for older adults who are living with serious health issues or recuperating from an illness or injury. To learn about our premier in-home care services, call us at 619-354-2544 today.