Be Aware of the Importance of Nutrition for Elderly Loved Ones

by Kathy
(Nashville, TN)

Nutrition for Elderly

Nutrition for Elderly

The older our loved ones get, the higher their risk of developing either functional impairment or chronic illness. After talking to the dietitian at the facility where I work, I was alarmed to discover that conditions like dementia could drastically increase or decrease food intake. Gastrointestinal disorders can increase the risk of malabsorption of nutrients.

She told me that nearly one quarter of elderly adults suffer from malnutrition, and they're not all at the poverty level.

Concerned about the quality of food for my own parents and grandparents, I took a quick peek into their pantries and refrigerators one day. I wanted to make sure that they were getting adequate nutrition, which not only revolves around how many foods they eat, but what type.

Seniors need more calcium to maintain bone mass, and I wanted to make sure they had plenty of protein, zinc, and vitamin B6 to help improve their immune systems. Foods rich in antioxidants as well as vitamin C, vitamin E, and the carotenoids would help reduce the risk of macular degeneration or cataracts in their vision.

My parents and grandparents did a pretty good job balancing their nutritional needs, but I know it's not the same for every senior, especially those who live alone or those on fixed incomes. Eating well doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Find out what your parents are eating.

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Nutrition for Elderly Mother
by: May Lee

My elderly mother grew up in the Midwest. That means meat and potatoes. She used to grow her own vegetables but can't anymore.

She doesn't like the taste of canned vegetables, but I did encourage her to try frozen.

It's hard getting an older person to change the habits of a lifetime, but I told her how important it was to eat increased amounts of vegetables and fruits. For now, she's on board.

Nutrition for Elderly - Grand Dad is a Junk Food Junkie
by: Mona

My grandpa is a junk food junkie. Has been for decades. He's not too terribly overweight because he stays relatively active, but I know his nutrition is lacking.

After reading your article, I'm going to the library to try and find a book on nutrition so that I could show him how he can start improving his dietary intake while still offering tasty food.

Nutrition for Elderly Mom
by: Jane

After checking my mother's pantry, I realize she was eating a lot of canned and boxed foods, all of them extremely high in sodium, saturated fat, and sugars.

I now prepare several meals a week for her and then divide them into portion sizes that we store in her freezer. She can easily microwave them.

This helps to cut down on some of the worst components of her diet, but we still have a long way to go.

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