As adults get older, their bones lose calcium and other nutrients if not replenished. The spine may curve, and seniors often become shorter due to bone shrinkage. Bone density loss causes an increased likelihood of fractures. Likewise, muscle mass diminishes and the tissues grow weaker. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Des Moines elder care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Here are a few ways family members can ensure their aging loved ones maintain good bone and muscle health.
Focus on Proper NutritionSeniors need 1,200 milligrams of calcium and up to 600 IUs of vitamin D each day to keep bones and muscles strong. A variety of foods ensure older adults naturally get the nutrients they need. Some of these food options include:
- Fortified cereals and juices – Certain breakfast cereals provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals without having an abundance of sugar. There are also fruit juices that include calcium and vitamin D. Read the labels to determine the best options.
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy – An eight-ounce glass of milk or a container of yogurt provides 30 percent of a senior’s daily calcium requirements in addition to vitamin D, which is necessary for calcium absorption.
- Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish – Three ounces of salmon provides more than a daily dose of vitamin D, and tuna offers 39 percent of the daily recommended amount. In addition, oily fish provides omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for cardiovascular and cognitive health.
- Spinach and other leafy greens – One cup of cooked spinach provides 25 percent of a senior’s daily calcium needs. Spinach is also loaded with fiber and vitamin A, which are necessary for gastrointestinal and visual health.
- Chicken, pork, lean red meat, and fish