How to Meet Special Nutrient Needs of Older Adults
As we age, nearly every aspect of life changes. Nutrition is no different. Older adults have special nutritional needs—and face unique challenges in meeting those needs.
That’s why our team at Qualicare wants to offer some insight into the specialized needs of seniors and how to make sure they’re getting what they need.
Nutrition Changes as We Age
Eating a balanced diet is important throughout our lives. However, as we get older, certain nutrients are needed more than others to support our evolving health.
For starters, as we age, our bones become more fragile. As a result, it’s important to get plenty of calcium and vitamin D to maintain strong bone health. Strong bones are important to help your loved one maintain balance and mobility—and decrease fall risk.
Therefore, it’s important to include foods like low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt each day, as well as fortified cereals and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, and canned fish.
In addition to calcium, fortified cereal and some fish can also be great sources of vitamin B12, which is another important nutrient lacking in many older adults.
Second, fiber is also important. Adequate fiber intake helps keep our digestive system regular and also decreases our risk of heart disease.
To increase your loved one’s fiber intake, include plenty of foods like whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, peas, and fruits and vegetables, particularly those where you eat the peel.
Finally, make sure your loved one is getting enough potassium.This is a nutrient that’s commonly lacking in older adults—and one that’s particularly beneficial for maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Fruits and veggies, some types of fish like halibut, low-fat dairy, and pork or chicken are all good sources of potassium.
Are you worried your loved one isn’t getting the nutrients necessary for a healthy life? Contact us today to learn how our in-home care providers can help. Visit the Qualicare website today to learn more!