It may seem basic and obvious, but a proper diet is essential to good health for the elderly. According to the National Institutes of Health, healthy eating habits and eating a well-planned, balanced mix of foods everyday may very well reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, some kinds of cancer, and anemia. Also, for those who may already have one or more of these chronic diseases, eating well and being physically active may help better manage these conditions.
Catering to individual food sensitivities in addition to managing their diseases and medication can be overwhelming. Prevention and managing illness are areas where eating well plays an important role in the daily lives of the elderly. Diet is also critical for maintaining a healthy level of energy to properly regulating weight.
With obesity rates in the U.S. skyrocketing, we hear a lot about eating too much; but eating too little, or not eating appropriate foods can also be a problem. Consuming enough calories gives the body the fuel it needs to perform physical tasks like walking. Additionally, mental tasks require you to be properly fueled throughout the day for optimal cognitive function and memory. There are several factors that account for the number of calories needed: age, gender, height, weight, and level of activity.
Weight & Activity Level
Proper weight is a concern for most people throughout their lives, but it becomes especially important as the body ages and becomes more at risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, while excess pounds can wreak havoc on aging joints. Consuming not only the right amount of calories, but also the right kind of calories — a healthy blend of foods: fruits, grains, meat, veggies — help to control weight.
Proper Food Intake
Eating more calories than your body needs for your activity level will lead to extra pounds. Many people become less active as they age, which equates to needing fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. The NIH recommends choosing mostly nutrient-dense foods—those which have a lot of nutrients but relatively few calories. These can supply needed nutrients while keeping down calorie intake.
Incremental Life Changes
Taking small steps to improve eating habits is often the most effective way to make lasting changes. By starting with incremental changes like adding a new vegetable to the menu or simply taking the salt shaker off the table. Eventually, healthy habits become second nature and easy to adhere to. Eating well is not about following a diet or losing those extra pounds; rather, it’s a way of living that can improve life exponentially.
David York Agency Can Help!
David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home and is abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors and healthy eating habits. They offer the services of Certified Home Health Aides (HHA), Certified Personal Health Care Aides (PCA), Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), full- or part-time, live-in or -out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Licensed by the New York State Department of Health, they believe your loved one deserves the best care. Call for a free consultation today at 718-376-7755. Please visit the website, like them on Facebook, or follow the agency on Twitter, or LinkedIn.