We know the value of adhering to a healthy and balanced diet for older adults; however, knowing and doing are commonly worlds apart. For seniors, it is even more essential to steer clear of the temptations of making unhealthy food choices – and, frequently harder. For most seniors, lifestyle options are influenced by various factors:
- Medication complications that impact taste and/or appetite
- Losing loved ones, making mealtime a solitary time
- Lack of interest in cooking for just one
- As well as others
But there is one prevalent – although little mentioned – cause for unhealthy eating in senior loved ones: financial constraints. Seniors on a tight budget can find it hard to afford fresh, healthy foods, which typically cost a lot more than a fast food meal or can of soup. These guidelines from the National Council on Aging can help:
- Bear in mind that implementing a wholesome diet can considerably improve health, with the potential for preventing doctor visits and hospitalizations – saving seniors money in the long run.
- See if an older adult you love is qualified to receive SNAP, a government program that covers cost for fresh foods which can include fruits and veggies. Visit BenefitsCheckUp.org to confirm eligibility. The typical benefit to seniors is $100/month.
- Look at the senior’s local Meals on Wheels program, which provides nutritious meals to seniors, combined with the added benefit of a pleasant volunteer who will deliver the food and improve socialization.
- If wasting fresh food is an issue for an older adult who lives alone, frozen fruits and veggies are a great option, allowing for easy preparation of individual-sized portions.
Keep the following in mind to make certain that your older loved ones are making the best food choices:
- Look over the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate for older adults, with specific dietary and exercise best practices for individuals 65 and older.
- Focus on a range of colors, particularly brightly-colored foods such as tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggplant, pumpkin, etc.
- Include lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, keeping sodium and sugar to a minimum while ensuring lots of high fiber and nutrients which are specifically crucial in aging, such as vitamin D.
Look to the aging care specialists at Abby Senior Care for even more ideas to help the older adults you love make and keep good nutrition habits. We are always available to assist with buying groceries, meal planning and preparation, and ensuring the home is filled with an abundance of nourishing choices, together with sharing mealtimes with older adults to ensure they are more fulfilling. We will even clean up the kitchen afterwards! Reach out to the experts in Denver senior care at 303-699-8840 for additional information. Click here to view our full service area.