Undernourishment is a common concern in aging adults. It’s especially a concern for seniors living at home since they may not be on a strict eating schedule like they would be in an assisted living facility. However, with all of the other benefits of aging in place in the comfort of their own home, it’s simple to make a few tweaks to their diet to ensure they get the necessary nutrients they need. Developing healthy habits won’t occur overnight, but these caregiving tips can help you get them on the right track.
Add Protein, Fruits, and Vegetables
Some seniors love fruits and vegetables, while others can’t stand the thought of keeping fresh produce in their homes at any given time. It may be a hassle for them or for you as a caregiver to go to the grocery store every day to get the freshest produce possible, so you may consider alternative options. Frozen fruits and vegetables still have the nutrients that fresh ones have, but you won’t have to worry about them spoiling if not used right away. Having at least one fruit and vegetable option at every meal is the first step in developing long-term healthy habits.
Protein is also very important to include in the diet. Things like cheese, eggs, and milk, as well as meat, need to be a part of a senior’s diet in one form or another. Balancing proteins, fruits, and vegetables in any diet is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Maintain Proper Hydration Levels
Poor hydration is another common concern for seniors living at home. Just because they may not be moving around as much as they used to doesn’t mean they don’t need the recommended amount of water. And it’s especially important to stay hydrated if they take medication. Being hydrated can keep blood flowing properly, muscles strong and even prevent certain health issues as well. Just be sure to consume beverages with no sugar since many beverages people drink contribute to more added sugar in the diet than any other food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Discover Healthy Snack Alternatives
Snack time can pack on unnecessary calories, also known as empty calories. Snacks like cookies, chips and others pack on the calories, but they don’t provide any nutritional value. It will take some time and effort to break the habit of having an afternoon snack, but it’s well worth it. Try eating carrots, celery, broccoli or other healthy alternatives to hold them over until dinner time and prevent empty calories from building up. Eventually, the afternoon snack may not even be necessary and those healthy alternatives can be incorporated into dinner.
At Next Day Access, we specialize in keeping seniors living at home safe. Not only do we offer top-of-the-line home accessibility products, but we can also provide caregiving tips along the way. If we can help you out in any way, feel free to reach out to us.