The key to a long, healthy life includes eating a wide variety of foods including nuts, fruits, grains, vegetables, and lean meats. This is even more important as we get older and our nutritional needs begin to change. This year, March is National Nutrition Month, an awareness-raising campaign sponsored by the American Dietetic Association to help people plan their diets in order to support a long and healthy life. This year’s theme is “Eating Right with Color,” and the goals of the program are to teach people of all ages how to stay healthy and fit. This information can be useful in a number of contexts, including home care for seniors. Often, seniors receive assistance from elder care professionals who may be responsible for doing their grocery shopping, cooking, or meal planning. This is an important job for any caregiver, and so it is vitally important to understand how to promote healthy eating for older people.
Many caregivers who work with elderly individuals say that they spend a considerable amount of time grocery shopping, cooking meals, or planning meals for their patients. This is important because it gives the caregiver an opportunity to help their patient find foods that are going to be nutritious. There can be a couple of obstacles to this, however. Some seniors regularly take several prescription medications that may interfere with the foods that they can eat. Others may have some kind of health problems that can restrict their diet. When hiring a home care professional, make sure they are aware of any restricted food items so these are avoided when planning meals.
As people grow older, their nutritional needs change, and many older people do not receive the proper amount of certain nutrients, such as calcium and Vitamin B, Vitamin B12, fiber, potassium, and others. These nutrients are important for helping maintain the bones and organs in old age. Many of these important vitamins and minerals are found in fortified cereals, fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, yogurt, and grains. By working with a home care agency, you can rest assured that the foods provided for your loved one are both high in nutritional content as well as accommodating to their dietary needs. The caregivers will know which foods to avoid when grocery shopping and will be aware of any dietary restrictions or possible complications with medicines. Professional caregivers are well-trained to be able to identify ingredients in medicines that may interact with food products and adjust their menus accordingly.
Caregivers are also trained to know which nutrients are more important for men and women as they age. While both groups have less of an appetite as they get older, their nutritional needs are slightly different. Men should consume more potassium and fibers, whereas women need more Vitamin B12 zinc. Both men and women should increase their daily amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D. This is something that caregivers understand well, and they have the skills they need to properly care for your loved ones as they grow older.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver for your loved one. By doing so, you will ensure that your loved ones are receiving the best possible care that caters to their special needs. All caregivers provide customized care for each patient to see that they receive the best care possible. Healthy eating is important for all people, and proper nutrition becomes even more important as we age. Consider hiring a professional elder care agency to care for your loved ones to be sure that they remain healthy and happy for many years to come.
Home care counselors at Safe at Home Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care, including live-in care. We are an elder care agency providing Home Care in Naperville.