The Importance Of Nutrition For Seniors
Good Nutrition is a lifelong practice. It is important to maintain our physical well being starting at a young age so that as we age, our body stays healthy, fit and resilient to injury or disease. For senior citizens and elderly, it can be especially important to build in good nutrition. Seniors can develop good nutrition both through diet and physical activity.
Specialized Nursing Services is proud to support our patients in good nutrition. Our certified professionals can incorporate changes to diet or physical activity with your loved one in the comfort of their own home.
Diet is the single most important factor in good nutrition. Though there are other variables at play, what you eat and nourish your body with makes a big difference.
After a lifetime of poor nutrition it can feel tough to start a new way of eating. However, each day we commit to healthy eating and proper nutritional choices, we can both promote a healthier body going forward, and in many cases, reverse detrimental effects of prior poor diet choices.
As far as a healthy diet goes, a few simple changes can make a big difference.
A basic healthy diet for a senior should consist of fruits and vegetables, protein, whole grains, vitamin D (dairy), and a small amount of fats. Water is also important in nutrition.
A healthy serving of fruit is usually considered 2-3 pieces of ripe hand-sized fruit or its equivalent per day. Fruit/Flower Vegetables like peppers, cucumbers, and zucchini should be incorporated daily, especially in their fresh and raw form. Vegetables should include leafy greens, 2-3 cups, 1-2 root vegetables, like carrots, beets, and potatoes per day. Other fruits and vegetables should be included as desired. Many fruits and vegetables can be cooked in healthy ways such as steaming, or roasting, so they preserve their health benefits and taste great.
Protein can be consumed in the form of fish, and other lean meats. Beans and legumes are also a great source for protein. Depending on diet restraints, seeds and nuts should also be included.
Whole grains like quinoa and oats, and dairy like milk and cheese should be consumed in moderation and make up a small part of regular diet. Refined oils and certain fats, depending on diet restraints, should be eaten regularly.
Water should be consumed throughout the day. Six to eight glasses of eight fluid ounces of water per day are recommended to all adults.
These simple nutrition patterns can make a big impact on the well being of the elderly, and all people seeking to improve their nutrition.
In-home caregivers can support your loved one in incorporating dietary and nutritional changes to maintain or even improve their health.
Physical activity is the other major factor of good nutrition for seniors. It is important to promote well being by keeping the body in shape and physically fit.
There are a few simple ways to incorporate movement at every level of mobility. Fifteen minutes a day of free movement twice a day, and ten to fifteen minutes of moderate movement , to the extent that it is available to the individual, once a day.
Depending on range of motion, mobility, balance and strength, fifteen minutes of free movement are a healthy way to keep the body active. This includes simple movements like walking, passive stretching, or light house cleaning.
Moderate movement is also recommended to keep the heart strong and in healthy working order. Moderate movement can include dynamic stretching, fast walking or even practices like yoga or tai chi. Depending on the mobility of the individual, the physical activity can be modified or amplified. The important thing is to maintain movement.
Specialized Nursing Services caregivers are prepared to promote physical activity with your loved one in a way that meets their ability and needs.
Through a well balanced diet and physical activity, seniors- and everyone- can experience better overall nutrition. Call us to learn more about nutrition plans for your loved one.
If you have any questions, we’re ready to help. Contact Specialized Nursing Services when you need help.