Whether you are a family member caring for an elderly loved one or a professional daily or a live-in carer for the elderly, knowing how to prepare nutritional and appetising meals is an essential part of care.
As we get older, our bodies change and older adults have unique nutritional needs. By making some simple adjustments, you can meet these nutritional needs. Good nutrition for elderly people can help to control weight, boost energy and help to reduce the risk of on-going illness or diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and even certain cancers.
People in their later years often feel that they don’t require as many calories, as they are not as active as they used to be. However, it is likely that they need only decrease their calorie intake by 100-400 per day. Therefore, it is important to continue eating regular nutritious meals as you get older. In fact, your body’s energy requirements can increase if you have an acute or chronic disease. For example, the involuntary movements caused by Parkinson’s can increase energy expenditure. If there are concerns about whether an individual is getting the correct nutrition for them, they should consult their GP.
Our Live-in Carers share the homes of our clients. This means they are responsible for ensuring their clients eat a diet that meets their nutritional needs. Here are some of their useful tips for achieving good nutrition for elderly people:
- Enjoy small, frequent, nutrient-rich meals.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Limit your alcohol consumption.
- Choose foods with little or no added sugar, salt or saturated fats.
- Have a varied vegetable and fruit intake.
- Eat both oily and white fish (maximum of two portions of oily fish per week).
- Use fortified bread and cereals to boost iron and vitamins B and D.
- Consume more protein and less bulky carbs.
- Swap frying food for grilling or oven cooking.
- A little bit of what you fancy does you good – enjoy your food!
We feel that good nutrition for elderly people is vitally important for a long and healthy life. Malnutrition can increase the risk of disease, delays in recovery from illness and can adversely affect physical and mental wellbeing.
If you are confused by all the nutritional jargon out there and can’t distinguish fact from fiction, Age UK has produced this guide to Healthy eating: fact vs fiction.
Exercise is also an important part of staying healthy in your later years. To find the why, read our article, Why Stay Active in Later Years.
At Bright Care we believe care at home is best. Our tailored in-home care services can help your elderly loved ones to remain happy and healthier.
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If you would like to join our team of Live-In Carers who provide private and bespoke later life care, please get in touch.