How Our Nutrition Needs Change As We Age

nutritional needs

As we grow older, eating healthy becomes even more critical to our health and well-being. Aging is inevitable, but we do have control over our nutritional intake. That can, in turn, change our health outcomes and quality of life. By educating yourself about the nutritional changes you and your loved ones will experience as they age, you can prepare for the challenge.

Our Bodies Change As We Age

Various physical changes occur in the body as we get older, including thinning of the skin, a decrease in stomach acid and muscle loss. Every change that happens to our body means a change that should happen to our nutritional intake. For example, a decrease in stomach acid can make it harder to absorb calcium, iron and magnesium. This might mean taking a special supplement or increasing the amount of calcium in your diet. Older adults also need fewer calories than adults under 60. This presents a problem for many without nutrition advice, as they must pack more nutrients into a smaller amount of calories.

Choosing the Right Foods

The need for more nutrients and more protein means that some seniors must adjust their diets. The USDA and AARP issued special MyPlate guidelines for seniors that you can see by clicking here. What types of foods should older adults be eating every day?

  • 5-7 ounces of lean proteins like seafood, eggs, beans or lean meats
  • 1.5-2.5 cups of fresh fruit and 2-3.5 cups of fresh or steamed vegetables
  • 5-10 ounces of whole grains like whole wheat pasta or brown rice
  • 3 cups of low-fat dairy like yogurt or milk

In general, you should limit your oil intake to 5-8 teaspoons and use as little solid fat, added sugar and salt every day.

Helping Your Senior Loved One

  • Plan out healthy and simple meals using the MyPlate guidelines to ensure your loved one is eating the right things. If you have the money to do so, it could be worth utilizing a meal service that could provide them with readymade, high-quality food.
  • Use meal time as a chance to gather together and socialize. Encourage your senior loved one to get meals with friends, family, social group members and you. Eating together gives you a chance to catch up and spend positive time together while encouraging their nutritional intake.
  • Talk with your loved one’s doctor about their nutritional intake and any deficiencies that they have. Some seniors need to use dietary supplements or extra vitamins to stay healthy, and there is nothing wrong with that!

Care for Your Senior Loved Ones with Senior Care Lifestyles

Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.

For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website www.seniorcarelifestyles.com.

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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