Seniors and Nutrition

Product Specialist | Shield HealthCare
10/24/18  2:57 PM PST
seniors and nutrition

As adults age, meeting adequate nutrition and hydration needs can become complicated. As seniors we often require fewer calories per day but have an increased need for other key nutrients. This paradox can contribute to a decline in nutrient status if not properly managed. Furthermore, the elderly have a tendency to lose their appetite for a variety of reasons including gastric problems, ill-fitting dentures, and depression. Read on to learn more about seniors and nutrition.

All of the above can prevent seniors from receiving the nutrition they need to stay healthy. A compromised nutrition status can put them at an increased risk of becoming dehydrated and malnourished. To maintain a healthy weight and to avoid complications it is important that seniors eat adequate protein, fiber, vitamins/minerals, and calories for their activity level.

Complications of malnutrition and dehydration:

  • Chronic diseases including diabetes and renal failure
  • Infection
  • Vision loss
  • Functional decline and confusion
  • Increased falls
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Seizures
  • Venous thrombosis
  • Shock

Tips to boost calorie intake:

  • Plan nutritious meals ahead of time
  • Snack often and eat when hungry
  • Fortified milk –  your favorite milk enhanced with dry milk or protein powder. Recipe.
  • Instant breakfast milkshake –  your favorite milk blended with instant breakfast mix and ice cream, then chilled. Recipe.
  • Easy chicken pot pie – a quick and nutrient dense pie made with frozen veggies and pre-cooked chicken. Recipe.

Tips to avoid dehydration include:

  • Knowing just how much fluid is recommended per day
  • Focus on fluid preferences (flavor, temperature, straws, etc.)
  • Offer fluid-rich foods like jello and fruit
  • Make a variety of fluids easily accessible and available throughout the day

Keep reading to learn more about the nutrition and hydration needs of seniors:

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