Nutrition for Elderly Parents
Did you know that average life spans are now about 73 years for men and 79 for women?
The reason for longer life spans around the world is better health care and education regarding eating for health.
Caregivers and senior citizens need to be educated in dietary needs in order to meet minimum daily requirements for optimal health benefits.
Good eating habits can help you live longer. How? What you eat has been directly linked to longevity in many cultures around the world. Poor eating and dietary habits can lead to common conditions such as:
• Heart disease
Good eating habits for elderly parents will help prevent such conditions.
Proper eating habits plays a large role in maintaining health and slowing down disease processes. Through proper diet and exercise, people today are living longer, healthier and more active lives than ever before.
Eating for Longevity!
Health profiles differ greatly among various ethnic groups and age brackets. Nevertheless, health care providers and caregivers are aware that the leading causes of death in Americans today are heart disease, cancers, strokes, and complications of diabetes (and many of those cases are directly linked to obesity).
If you could, what would you do to prevent illness and disease? Did you know that even slight modifications such as diet or eating habits could make a big difference in overall health and how the body fights illness and disease?
Did you know that reducing fats and increasing starch and fiber into daily diets helps reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diseases of the intestinal tract? Reducing the amount of sodium (salt) in daily diets reduces the risk of strokes.
Growing older doesn't have to mean growing weaker! Today, elderly parents and senior citizens are more active than ever. By paying attention to their food intake, aging parents engaging in a physically active lifestyle may prevent or at least slow down disease processes such as osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetes.
To find out how to make easy and effective changes to your health, to help beat the aging process, and overcome many illnesses please visit
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The Dangers of Malnutrition or Undernourishment
We all know that the aging process is inevitable and will happen to all of us. However, senior citizens often experience problems that may be avoided through good habits.
Sadly, recent studies show that nearly one quarter of elderly adults suffer from malnutrition!
This is common among elderly persons:
• Living at or near the poverty level
• Who live alone
• Who take prescription medications that may interfere with appetite
• Experiencing difficulty with basic living activities
Malnutrition is also a common factor in a multitude of disease processes that may cause:
• Vision problems
• Sensory impairment
• Dental diseases and conditions
According to the Nutrition Screening Initiative, the following checklist (that spells out D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-E) will help access the eating health of the elderly:
• Eating Poorly
• Tooth loss or oral pain
• Economic hardship
• Reduced social contact
• Multiple medications
• Involuntary weight loss or gain
• Need of assistance of self care
• Elderly person older than 80 years
The following contributing factors that may also affect an older person's nutritional status:
• Socioeconomic - Poverty, Unacceptable access to health care,
• Physiological - Inactivity, Chronic disease, Disability, Drug or alcohol abuse
• Psychological - Depression, Death of a spouse, Isolation,
• Environmental - Lack of access to health care providers or
services,Inadequate housing or cooking facilities,
Lack of mobility or transportation options.
Food Assistance Programs
Food assistance programs are available in most communities. They focus on providing socially isolated or otherwise eligible individuals with balanced meals on a daily basis.
For food assistance programs in your area, contact your local Department of Human Services, Department of Health and Human Services, or your local Department of Social Services for information on the types of food assistance programs in your area.
Remember the Basics
Eating the proper types and amounts of key nutrients may help to stave off a multitude of conditions including osteoporosis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Caregivers and seniors should be aware of the minimum daily requirements for calorie intake.
Individuals should also be aware and able to access various sources of advice in order to ensure that elderly parents have access to:
• Nutritious, low-cost meals
• Interaction with others during mealtimes, whenever possible
• Education and advice resources
• Shopping assistance when needed
• Counseling services when needed
• Transportation to local community programs when
Geriatric nutrition is the key to successful aging! Caregivers and seniors should understand the basics and dietary requirements for the elderly in order to help prevent malnutrition and to provide, and improve, quality of life.
Nutrition Page Back to Home Page
Eating Healthy for Seniors
Eating Behaviors or Misbehaviors
Nutrition Weight Watching
Elderly D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-E Page
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