We all know the importance of following a healthy diet plan; nonetheless, knowing and doing are commonly worlds apart. For senior loved ones, it is even more important to prevent the temptations of making unhealthy food choices – and, frequently more difficult. For a lot of older adults, lifestyle choices are influenced by an assortment of factors:
- Prescription drug side effects that affect taste and/or appetite
- Loss of family and friends, making mealtime a solitary time
- Lack of interest in cooking for only one
- And others
But there is one predominant – yet little mentioned – reason behind eating unhealthy food for seniors: monetary restrictions. Older adults with limited funds may find it challenging to afford fresh, healthy foods, which frequently cost much more than a fast food meal or can of soup. These guidelines from the National Council on Aging, can help:
- Bear in mind that sticking with a wholesome diet can significantly improve health, with the potential for preventing doctor visits and hospitalizations – saving seniors money over time.
- See if a senior you love is entitled to SNAP, a government program that covers the cost for fresh foods including vegetables and fruits. Visit BenefitsCheckUp.org to check eligibility. The average benefit to seniors is $100/month.
- Check into the older adult’s local Meals on Wheels program, which provides nutritious meals to seniors, combined with the added benefit of a pleasant volunteer who will deliver the food and enhance socialization.
- If throwing away fresh food is a problem for a senior loved one who lives alone, frozen fruits and veggies are a great option, making it possible for convenient preparation of individual-sized portions.
Keep the following in mind to make certain that the senior loved ones in your life are making the most beneficial food choices:
- Review the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate for older adults with special dietary needs and exercise guidelines for everyone 65 and older.
- Aim for many different colors, specifically brightly-colored foods such as tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, pumpkin, etc.
- Incorporate lean proteins, whole grain products, and low-fat dairy foods, keeping sodium and sugar to a minimum while ensuring lots of high fiber and nutrients that are particularly essential in aging, such as vitamin D.
Look to the aging care specialists at Morning Glory Home Care for more strategies to help the seniors you love make and keep good nutrition habits. We’re always available to help with buying groceries, meal planning and preparation, and ensuring the house is filled with lots of healthy and balanced choices, as well as sharing mealtimes with seniors to make them more pleasurable. We will even tidy up the kitchen afterwards! Contact us at 618-667-8400 to find out more about Morning Glory Home Care, providers of the best dementia care in Alton and surrounding communities.