Have you noticed that your grandmother is getting thinner and looking frailer? Or maybe you have noticed it in your parents? Before you start panicking, you should know that malnutrition is extremely common among older adults. Just like young adults crave for junk foods and suffer from another type of malnutrition – one that is intimately linked to obesity and diabetes issues -, seniors, who lie at the other extreme of the eating habits scale, simply don’t eat the right stuff too. So, if you want to help, this little guide is just right!
Understanding Dietary Needs
First of all, you should understand that seniors have different dietary requirements. If you have young children in your house, you will often find that their needs are very similar to the ones of older adults. Both need a high quantity of calcium. For toddlers and young children, the calcium helps their bones to grow. For seniors, the calcium is essential to keep their bones as strong as possible, as a common health risk for them is the weakening of their bones which leads to serious injuries as they fall. Additionally, both age groups will need high quantities of vitamins. For young children up to teenagers, this is part of their development and growth process.For seniors, there is a sense of hormonal change, as you will find fewer hormones in their bodies, and weakness of the immune system, that need to be addressed with the right nutrients. Additionally, elderly people lose the ability to absorb effectively all the nutrients in their food. Consequently, they will need higher intakes to make up for it.
Healthy Cooking And Helpful Supplements
As vitamins and calcium are the most important elements in a senior diet, you will need to address these as a priority. For example, using switching for a different kind of milk, such as goat’s milk, can help to reinvigorate their taste buds and introduce new cooking options to their menu. Additionally, you can introduce them to healthy supplements to maintain a high calcium intake without having to drink gallons of milk in a single day! There is a type of algae that is harvest for its nutrients, especially calcium but also magnesium and minerals, that can become a part of the everyday meal. You can find out more about it by reading the AlgaeCal reviews. Finally, it is important to add a lot of vegetables and fruits to the senior diet, as they will provide the necessary vitamins and fibers.
Understand Why They Lose Weight/ Look More Fragile
There is no surprise here: Everybody can fail at keeping a healthy diet! But for your elderly relatives, this is even more of a problem as many experience a gradual loss of appetite. Why is that, you might ask. There are many reasons for a loss of appetite, and in the case of seniors, you are looking at:
- Factors related to a sense of discomfort, such as chewing problems, difficulties to digest food properly, and ill-fitted dentures.
- Factors related to their mood, such as stress and depression, which are common at that age when you live alone and isolated from the rest of the world.
- Factors related to a degradation of their mental abilities, such as forgetfulness.
So, make sure to address these issues first!