We all know the importance of following a healthy and nutritious diet; nonetheless, knowing and doing are frequently worlds apart. For the elderly, it’s even more crucial to steer clear of the temptations of making unhealthy food choices – and, in many cases tougher. For older adults, lifestyle choices can be impacted by numerous factors:
- Medication complications that affect taste and/or appetite
- Loss of loved ones, making mealtime a lonely time
- Lack of interest in cooking for only one
- And others
But there is one prevailing – yet little discussed – explanation for unhealthy eating in senior loved ones: financial limitations. Seniors with limited funds may find it difficult to afford fresh, healthy foods, which often cost much more than a fast food meal or can of soup. These nutrition guideline for older adults from the National Council on Aging can help:
- Bear in mind that sticking with a wholesome diet can greatly improve health, with the potential for preventing doctor visits and hospitalizations – saving older adults money in the end.
- See if the seniors you love are eligible for SNAP, a government program that covers cost for fresh foods such as fruits and veggies. Visit BenefitsCheckUp.org to check eligibility. An 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 pleasant volunteer who will deliver the food and enhance socialization.
- If throwing away fresh food is a worry for a senior loved one who lives alone, frozen vegetables and fruit are a good option, making it possible for quick preparation of individual-sized portions.
Keep the following in mind to make certain that your older family members are making the best food choices:
- Review the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate for seniors with specific dietary and exercise suggestions for everyone 65 and older.
- Aim for a variety of colors, especially brightly-colored foods such as tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, pumpkin, etc.
- Include lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods, keeping sodium and sugar to a minimum while ensuring plenty of high fiber and nutrients that are particularly important in aging, like vitamin D.
Contact the aging care professionals at Grace Home Care’s senior care experts in Topeka. for more suggestions to help the seniors you love make and keep good nutrition habits. Grace Home Care offers more one-on-one companionship for older adults, from planning and preparing nutritious meals to ensuring the home is filled with plenty of nourishing food choices and providing companionship to make meals more pleasurable. We will even tidy up the kitchen afterwards! Contact our senior care experts at 785-286-2273 to learn more about our customizable home care services in your area.