Eating a healthy diet is important at every age but it becomes particularly necessary as we grow older. Our nutritional needs change as our body ages so we need to make dietary adjustments accordingly. Many seniors do not eat as well as they should which can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies. With a reliable in-home caregiver who uses a helpful homecare system or homecare software like ClearCare Onilne, this outcome can be avoided.
Why Seniors Become Nutritionally Deficient
There are many age-related causes that lead to lack of appetite and nutritional deficiencies, including:
- Medication side effects
- Dental issues that make eating difficult
- Lack of nutritious food in the home
- Inability to cook regular meals
Recent research has found that low levels of key nutrients—even modest vitamin and mineral deficiencies—can put seniors at risk for serious diseases. Caregivers can use ClearCare Online’s homecare system and homecare software to track meals and nutrition, as well as monitor any health concerns.
Getting Adequate Nutrition
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, nearly 3.7 million seniors are malnourished. Family members and friends should be on the lookout for signs of malnutrition and regularly monitor their senior loved one’s eating habits. If the family is unable to check in on their senior relatives, it may be time to bring in additional assistance. An in-home care provider – specifically one that offers ClearCare Online’s homecare system and homecare software – can carefully supervise each senior’s meals and identify problem areas. Daily tasks can be set in the caregiver’s homecare system and homecare software for meal preparation as well as reminders for exercise – another key component to healthy living.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends the following guidelines for seniors:
- Grains: 5-10 ounces (with at least three ounces from whole grains)
- Vegetables: 2 to 3 1/2 cups (with a variety of colors and types)
- Fruits: 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups
- Milk, yogurt, and cheese: 3 cups of milk (1 cup of yogurt, 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of cheese, or 2 cups of cottage cheese are equivalent to one cup of milk)
- Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts: 5-7 ounces of lean meat, poultry or fish (1/4 cup of cooked beans or tofu, 1 egg, 1/2 ounce of nuts or seeds, or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter are equivalent to one ounce of meat)
As seniors begin focusing on proper nutrition, they will experience many benefits, including:
- Increased energy
- Improved immune system
- Better ability to manage chronic health problems
- Stronger resistance to illness and disease
- Increased mental acuteness
- Faster recuperation when ill
For seniors who are having trouble getting adequate nutrition, it is likely they are experiencing difficulties in other areas of life as well. Working with a reputable home care agency can give the senior the assistance he needs, while still allowing him to maintain his dignity and independence. Home care agencies that use a reliable homecare system or homecare software, such as ClearCare Online, not only provide safe and quality care, but are also able to offer real-time visibility to family members. If you have questions about how your senior loved one might benefit from such quality services, call ClearCare Online today.