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Are Bananas Good for the Elderly?

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The appetite changes with age. Seniors may be unable to tolerate certain foods, which is why it’s important for them to eat nutrient-dense foods that are both satisfying and healthy. Bananas are one such food, and in addition to being easy to tolerate, they offer several health benefits.

Promote Healthy Blood Pressure

One of the top reasons bananas are good for the elderly is because they’re rich sources of potassium, an essential nutrient. Potassium is thought to play an important role in regulating blood pressure, and it may be helpful to those diagnosed with hypertension. If your loved one has high blood pressure, eating a banana or two a day may help him or her cut down on taking antihypertensive medication. These drugs are associated with side effects such as fatigue, dizziness, hypotension, and excessive urination.

Seniors often have difficulty keeping track of their medications, but professional caregivers can assist with medication management and an array of other daily tasks. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional home care, Des Moines Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.

Regulate the Heart Rate

Another health benefit of eating bananas is the ability to regulate the heartbeat. Many elderly people have cardiac arrhythmias, which can raise the risk of cardiovascular events. Treatment for cardiac arrhythmia, or abnormal heartbeat, often includes medications known as beta blockers. These medications can cause severe fatigue, exercise intolerance, shortness of breath, weight gain, and high cholesterol. If your loved one has only a slight arrhythmia, his or her physician may be able to lower the dosage of beta blockers and augment treatment with potassium-rich bananas. An abnormal heart rate may also lead to poor circulation and ankle edema. Bananas can reduce swelling in the ankles so your loved one can walk and wear shoes without discomfort.

Alleviate Anxiety

Seniors often experience anxiety and depression as a result of loneliness, the death of a spouse, or the loss of independence. Like with high blood pressure medications, drugs used in the treatment of anxiety and depression can lead to side effects, which may include excessive sleepiness, confusion, weight gain, and gastrointestinal disorders. Bananas are good for the elderly because they may relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression, brighten the mood, and enhance restful sleep. In addition, bananas are typically well-tolerated by seniors who may not have an appetite if they’re living with emotional health issues.

Socializing, exercising, and spending time outdoors can also boost your loved one’s mood and alleviate depression. However, he or she may be living with other serious health issues that make it difficult to age in place safely and comfortably. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Des Moines Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

Boost Gastrointestinal Health

Seniors often experience gastrointestinal problems, including constipation and diarrhea. Bananas may be beneficial for both of these issues. For example, bananas are often recommended for people with diarrhea, as they’re a component in the BRAT diet, which includes bananas, rice, applesauce, and tea. Bananas may also prevent constipation because of the dietary fiber content. While bananas can help your loved one manage gastrointestinal disorders, make an appointment with a physician if your loved one experiences prolonged diarrhea or constipation. These symptoms may be indicative of something serious and need to be further evaluated.

Eating bananas and other nutritious foods is just one of the many ways older adults can maintain their health and enjoy a higher quality of life. Receiving assistance at home from a professional caregiver can also be beneficial. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide senior home care, Des Moines, IA, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years. To learn more about our premier senior care plans, schedule a call with one of our friendly Care Managers at (515) 264-2438 today.  

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