A senior living or assisted living facility provides better nutritional support for seniors, helping them remain psychologically, emotionally, and physically connected as they age. 

There is growing scientific evidence that adopting a good diet and exercise habits may considerably enhance the likelihood of having a healthy aging phase, even if our genetic makeup plays a role. But, unfortunately, it might be more difficult for the elderly to meet their daily dietary requirements because of the smaller amounts and reduced calorie intake they often eat.

Senior's total calorie consumption is lower, but nutritional requirements do not alter much with age, and the differences in nutrient needs between men and women are minimal. 

 

Dietary Reference Intake for Older Adults

Vitamin / Mineral         Male  Female

 B6 (mg)                           1.5      1.5

 B12 (mcg)                       2.4      2.4

 C (mg)                              75       75

Calcium (mg)                  1200  1200

D (mcg)                             15       20

E (mg)                               14       15

Folate (mcg)                   400    400

Magnesium (mg)          320    320

Niacin (mg)                     1.4      1.4

Riboflavin (mg)              1.1      1.1

Thiamine) (mg)              1.1      1.1

Research shows that many elderly people aren't getting the recommended daily allowance of nutrients in their diets. 

 

Why is Nutrition Important to Seniors?

It is critical to ensure that your body obtains the nutrition it needs. It is essential to have a healthy and balanced diet to ensure that your body gets the nutrients it needs. Our bodies need food to function and grow correctly. A healthy diet includes water, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.

You don't have to be an elderly person to benefit from good nutrition. It offers you the following advantages:

  • Boosts energy.
  • Aid in weight loss.
  • Prevents osteoporosis.
  • Helps maintain blood pressure.
  • Decreases risk of a heart attack.
  • It Helps prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • May aid in the prevention of a few types of cancer.

However, your body and living circumstances change as you get older, requiring adjustments to what you need to be healthy. So even if your caloric requirements are lower, you must still ensure that you're getting adequate nutrients. For example, certain seniors may require more protein.

 

Tips and Tricks to Increase Calories

The first step in most nutrition strategies for the elderly is to increase the number of healthy calories consumed. As we age, we may find ourselves missing meals more often because of our hectic schedules. However, this lack of nourishment may have a more considerable detrimental influence on our health as we get older. Seniors may increase their calorie intake using a few easy methods, such as:

 

  • Healthy milkshakes and smoothies. For seniors, particularly those who have difficulty chewing and digesting their food, they're a terrific source of calories and nourishment. 
  • Milk that has been dehydrated. For added protein and calories, try adding it to a bowl of cereal or to a creamy sauce like alfredo.
  • Eggnog. Many calories come from fat, which is not only for the holidays.

 

Most top rated senior living communities provide seniors with a variety of nutritional benefits, including:

 

1.) Healthy Menu

Menu planning and grocery shopping might get more difficult as we get older. In-house chefs make healthy, nutritious meals three times a day in most top rated senior living communities. Residents also enjoy the benefit of dining with friends. It contributes to making meals a social occasion to look forward to every day.

 

 2.) Special Diet Plan

As medical conditions, drugs, and recommendations from doctors evolve, so too must senior nutrition regimens. Involvement in your loved one's nutrition plan may help make meals a more pleasant event for both of you.

An excellent way to start is by acting as a liaison between a doctor, your loved one, and the personnel at a senior care community. Making mealtimes more pleasurable for your loved one can make it easier to keep track of senior diet plans, as will discovering methods to tailor diet programs to their own likes and preferences. 

 

3.) Making Meals Appealing

Disturbing the sense of taste and smell might hinder one's ability to follow a prescribed diet, making it challenging to stick to. Other possible explanations include the loss of tastebuds due to illness, pharmaceutical side effects, or even genetic predispositions.

A crucial "cephalic phase response" that prepares the body for digestion and helps enhance hunger is triggered when meals are made appealing to your loved ones and their senses.

 

4.) Hydration 

To keep hydrated, the elderly must consume a lot of water. Dehydration in a senior may lead to a variety of health issues. It's important to keep senior residents hydrated and ensure they receive adequate calories and minerals in their meals. Seniors need to consume a lot of water to keep their bodies running smoothly. To keep residents hydrated, the top rated senior living communities provide them lots of water and non-caffeinated liquids, as well as water-rich fruits and vegetables, unless otherwise directed by their doctor.

 

5.) Minerals and Vitamins

According to top rated senior living communities, calcium and Vitamin D are essential for the elderly because certain nutrients become more vital for optimum health as we age. 

Calcium and Vitamin D assists in keeping bones healthy. Every day, seniors should consume three portions of calcium-rich foods and liquids. Some examples are fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, fish, and milk. If an older person takes a calcium supplement or multivitamin, it should generally be combined with vitamin D, the body's partner in bone formation and nutrition absorption.

Many persons over the age of 60 are deficient in vitamin B12. Therefore, seniors should also take vitamin B12-rich foods such as lean meat and certain fish. This dietary change is necessary because the aging body's capacity to absorb B12 decreases. Therefore, receiving extra food and supplements will guarantee that seniors achieve their daily needs. 

Don't forget about potassium. Increasing potassium while decreasing sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Potassium is abundant in fruits, vegetables, and legumes. In addition, choose and cook meals with minimal or no added salt. 

We hope you consider the nutritional advantages of relocating to a senior living facility. We invite you to find a community of your own and become involved! Find a few of the top rated senior living communities in your area and set up a meeting to discuss your loved one's situation.