Keeping up with a healthy diet can be difficult, especially for an elderly person who already has health problems that make it more difficult for them to eat, or that affect their personality and make them refuse to eat at all.
However, a healthy, nutritious diet is important for anyone, at any age, and the importance only goes up when the person grows older. Healthy foods don’t just help keep your aging loved one in shape, they help them to combat illness as well. A healthy body is one that has the energy and the nutrients to fight off infection, and you can’t have those things if your loved one eats only junk food, or worse, no food at all.
You and your loved one’s senior care aide should make nutrition a top priority when caring for your loved one. Here are some of the reasons why.
- Fight off illness. While you can’t blame a poor diet for every illness, most doctors agree that malnutrition is just opening the door for an illness to come in. And, if someone is malnourished or obese, their body can’t fight off that illness nearly as well as it could if the person were healthier. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and grains, can go a long way toward fighting disease.
- Stay fit. It is tough to get around if your body is not nourished and strong. Mobility problems can only be exacerbated by the problems that come with bad health due to a poor diet. Muscles are weaker, they may feel dizzy… in other words, an unfit body feels weak, and as if it is working against you. If, on the other hand, your loved one sticks to a healthier diet, they will feel more energized. This, in addition to exercise, can help them to stay fit and vibrant.
- Fight obesity. Obesity is a common problem in seniors with mobility issues. It’s tough for them to move around, so they may embrace the sedentary lifestyle. This lifestyle of bad food and little to no physical activity can lead to them becoming overweight, and this will not help them in the slightest when managing their other health problems. Good nutrition, however, can be the first step toward correcting this issue, and perhaps even helping with others.
- Mental health. Many studies have shown a link between diet and mental disorders like anxiety and depression. If you eat a poor diet with few nutrients, you will feel poorly on a mental level, because your brain is not getting the fuel it needs to be strong and to keep you in a good mood. Diet can also help in the treatment of some disorders such as dementia, because a healthy brain and body can help to delay its progression.
At the end of the day, though, there is only one thing you need to know to convince you to have your aging loved one eat healthier: they will feel better. You can’t feel good if you don’t get enough nutrients, so make sure that you and your senior care aide help your loved one to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Danville, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.
Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE