It’s not uncommon for older adults to develop nutritional deficiencies. In the absence of the proper nutrients, seniors have the potential to develop a number of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and malnutrition. There are several nutrients older adults need daily to stay healthy.
Calcium – 1,000 Milligrams Daily
Calcium is necessary for ensuring bones and teeth remain healthy. Without getting enough calcium from the diet, the body steals the mineral from the bones, which leads to weakening. Bone calcium loss leads to fragility, which poses a greater risk of fractures. Calcium is also important for cardiac and skeletal muscle function. Seniors can easily achieve their daily calcium intake by consuming three servings of low-fat milk or yogurt. Fortified juices, broccoli, kale, and spinach are also helpful for reaching calcium goals.
Fiber – 28 Grams Daily for Women, 38 Grams Daily for Men
Fiber promotes gastrointestinal health by ensuring food moves through the digestive tract. Foods rich in fiber also benefit the cardiovascular system. Beans, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains are all good sources of fiber. Seniors should choose breakfast cereals containing plenty of fiber, select whole grain breads, and keep fresh fruits and vegetables along with nuts on hand for snacking.
Folic Acid – 400 Micrograms Daily
Folic acid is also known as folate and vitamin B9. B vitamins are necessary to prevent anemia. The nutrients are also helpful for protecting nerve tissue and promoting neuron communication, which benefits cognitive health. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and fortified breakfast cereals are rich sources of folic acid.
A professional caregiver can be a fantastic source of information on nutrition and how your loved one can live a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Des Moines families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Vitamin B12 – 6 Micrograms Daily
B12 plays a major role in the development of red blood cells and DNA, and it’s another B vitamin that’s also vital for nerve tissue health and function. Vitamin B12 deficiencies can lead to anemia and make it difficult for cells to replicate. Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and low-fat dairy products are ideal sources of the nutrient.
If your loved one has difficulty shopping for food, preparing nutritious meals, or handling other aspects of a healthy lifestyle, consider adding a professional caregiver to your family’s caregiving team. Home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Vitamin D – 400 International Units Daily
Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium, which promotes bone health. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to a number of disorders, including autoimmune diseases, cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes. The nutrient is easily manufactured by the body when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight for at least 15 minutes daily. Otherwise, fortified cereals, some yogurts, fortified juices, eggs, salmon, and tuna are good sources of vitamin D.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – 250 to 500 Milligrams Daily
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive impairment, macular degeneration, and rheumatoid arthritis. Beneficial forms of omega-3 fatty acids are found in mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna. Nutritionists recommend consuming three servings of fish each week. Canola oil, olive oil, flaxseeds, and soybeans provide a plant-based form of omega-3 fatty acids.
If your loved one has difficulty preparing meals that meet his or her nutritional needs, a professional home caregiver can help. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Des Moines, IA, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (515) 264-2438 today.