Our bodies have different needs at different stages of our lives, but looking after your body should always be a priority, no matter what age you are. As we get older, it’s common for our appetites to decrease, making it more likely that we don’t eat enough of the right foods. Other problems can afflict some seniors, such as difficulty swallowing or chewing their food, a loss of taste or smell, or symptoms related to dementia that make it more difficult to maintain a regular eating schedule.
But eating enough and eating the right kinds of food is important for both your physical and your mental health. If you think that you or a senior loved one needs to change up what they eat for better nutrition, then read on for some simple tips.
The foods you should be eating
We tend to need fewer calories as we age, so it’s important that the calories you do consume are rich in the nutrients you need. A varied diet is also important for getting enough essential vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the foods you should include in your diet:
- Whole grains, e.g. oats, wheat, rice, corn
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Lean meat
- Legumes, e.g. nuts, beans, seeds
- Low-fat dairy/dairy alternatives, e.g. oat milk or almond milk
Things you should avoid (or consume in moderation)
If you get enough of the nutrients you need from the foods listed above, then it’s perfectly fine to treat yourself to the foods that you love, as long as you do it in moderation. Diseases like heart disease and diabetes become more common as we age, so avoiding certain foods can help to prevent these conditions. Here are some key things to avoid or consume in moderation:
- Sugary drinks, e.g. soda
- Saturated fats/trans fats
Getting support with your nutrition
It can be difficult to keep cooking healthy, balanced, and varied recipes as you get older, especially for seniors who have mobility issues or cognitive decline. Thankfully, there are lots of support and care options to help you out.
If you still enjoy cooking, then you could consider a meal subscription service like Hello Fresh. For a regular subscription fee, these services deliver recipes and all the ingredients you need to make them, so you don’t have to think up what to cook or go grocery shopping for the ingredients. Or, you can try a meals on wheels service that delivers prepared meals to your door.
You could also hire an in-home carer to help you with things like grocery shopping, preparing meals, and any other daily activities you need assistance with. Carers can visit your home as often or as little as you need. If you decide to make the move into independent living or assisted living, then nutritional meals will usually be provided for you in a communal dining area.
If you’d like to find out more about assisted living at Brookstone of Clemmons and how we support your nutrition, then please get in touch.