Good nutrition as a primary prevention strategy can help to maintain health and prevent disease. Meal preparation for seniors should take into account the various age-related changes that affect nutritional needs, as well as the various factors that put seniors at risk of being malnourished.
Some medical conditions such as diabetes, congestive heart disease and gout require special attention to diet. Physical changes like decreased bone density, kidney function decline, altered thirst perception and achlorhydria (low stomach acid) are some age-related changes that affect nutritional requirements in older adults.
Alterations in vision, hearing, cognition, and physical ability are other presenting factors that can put seniors at increased risk of malnourishment, as they affect the ability to handle kitchen appliances safely or to go grocery shopping. Dysphasia, or difficulty swallowing, can occur in adults who have suffered a stroke or neurological disease such as Parkinson’s and can make eating difficult. Some common medications, such as opiods for pain, can suppress appetite.
Moreover, there is a social aspect associated with eating that is absent for seniors who are living on their own. Because there is often no one to eat with, some seniors neglect to eat altogether. Many family caregivers overlook this when trying to identify causes of their loved one’s poor eating habits.
Eating well and healthily is an important part of health maintenance in older adults. Our Caregivers can help your loved ones get the nutrition they need at home. They are knowledgeable about safe food handling and the various considerations associated with meal preparation for seniors.
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