As the years roll on, the nutritional needs of our loved ones change as well. Understanding the dynamic nature of their nutritional needs is key to ensuring that they have a healthy life. For example, if your loved one misses out on nutrients such as calcium, they may develop brittle bones. This in turn puts them at risk of breaking their bones.
Here then is what you need to know about senior nutritional needs.
Fewer Calories Are Needed
While this varies from individual to individual, your loved one is probably going to need fewer calories. This is because they tend to be less and less active over the days. The reason why this matters is that they probably need to take less calorie-dense food items. Easting more calories than is recommended for them may lead to weight gain. Your doctor will guide you on what constitutes a balanced diet.
Loss Of Appetite
One other thing that you may notice with your loved ones is that they may progressively lose their appetite. This is caused by many different things including a change in the hormonal balance. If one is not careful, there is the risk that your loved one will not get the nutrients one needs. The best way to deal with this is to ensure that you make meals as attractive as possible. This means being creative in the way the food is made and served.
Your loved one may be affected by medical conditions, all of which will likely impact their nutrition. For example, conditions such as diabetes are likely to affect what your loved one eats. There is also the danger of missing out on essential nutrients such as calcium due to dietary restrictions. For example, calcium deficiency is common as many people tend to become lactose intolerant as the years roll on.
This in turn means that they miss out on the biggest dietary source of calcium. Without deliberate measures to ensure that your loved one gets more dietary calcium from elsewhere, there is the danger of calcium deficiency.
Effects of Medication
At this point in their lives, your loved one may be on a certain type of medication or another. As we have just mentioned, conditions such as diabetes tend to set in around this time. If your loved one is on some kind of medication, there is a good chance that that medication will have an effect on their nutrition. For example, some medications such as that for high blood pressure require that your loved one avoid alcoholic beverages. Some medications can only be taken after meals while others have to be taken before meals and so on. All these factors will affect what you prepare for your loved ones and even the time they need to eat.
The state of your loved one’s oral health is likely to impact their nutrition as well. If your loved one is struggling with periodontal disease, they may be required to give up high-sugar food items and drinks. Any dental implant operations may also require your family member to give up certain lifestyle habits such as smoking. Nicotine is thought to interfere with proper gum healing and may cause dental implants to fail.