Healthy Eating For Seniors Made Easy

Healthy Eating For Seniors Made Easy

Healthy Eating For Seniors Made Easy

Changing Nutritional Needs and Eating Habits

As you age your nutritional needs may change, as may your eating habits. Things such as calories consumed, your appetite and home life may be things that change over time. Other factors such as medications, medical conditions and oral health may be contributing factors as to why your diet will change.

Calories

As you age you may find that your calorie needs decrease. For various reasons, you may find it easier or harder to lose weight. If you eat more calories than you burn off, you’ll gain weight.

For example, if you’ve had a knee replacement and are less mobile than you were previously, you will find that maintaining your regular diet may lead to some weight gain. In order to maintain your weight, you need to balance your calories in versus your calories out.

Appetite

It is common to experience a loss of appetite as you age. It’s also likely your sense of taste and smell will lessen. This can turn people off from eating normally.

It is important to find food items that you enjoy eating, or using a meal replacement to boost calories. Some brands to consider are Boost or Ensure. Some seniors find it easier to eat smaller, more frequent meals during the day.

It is important to get enough calories and nutrients to maintain healthy organs, muscles and bones.

Home Life

You can imagine that your life at home influences your eating habits to a certain extent. For example, if you are cooking for one, you may be tempted to skip the cooking and order take-out. If you are accustomed to cooking for two, it can be daunting to cook just for yourself. More so, if you are just entering your retirement years and are used to having the family at home, it can be challenging to start cooking just for two. Finding some simple recipes tailored to one or two servings may be a way to approach this obstacle. We have linked to a couple of recipes for your reading (and cooking!) pleasure.

Chicken Breast and Avocado Salad

Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry

Medications

You may need to take medications to manage chronic health conditions. Some medications can affect your appetite or sense of taste. Some can also interact with certain foods and nutritional supplements. When you start a new medication, it is extremely important you check with your doctor or pharmacist for any dietary changes that need to be made.

For example, if you’re taking the blood thinner Warfarin (also sold as Coumadin), you need to avoid grapefruit. It impairs your body’s ability to metabolize that specific medication. You also need to maintain a steady level of vitamin K, which can be consumed in leafy greens such as kale or spinach.

Medical Conditions

As you get older, you become more likely to develop chronic health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis. To help prevent or manage these conditions, your physician may recommend some dietary changes.

For example, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you should eat foods that are rich in nutrients, but low in excess calories, processed sugars, and saturated and trans fats.

Some older adults with certain health conditions become sensitive to foods such as onions, peppers, dairy products, and spicy foods. People receiving chemotherapy treatment for cancer may also have a hard time finding foods that are palatable due to changes to the taste buds as a result from chemotherapy.

Oral Health

Oral health changes can impact how older adults enjoy their food. If you require dentures, you may find certain textures difficult to chew.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is important. If food gets trapped under the denture, it can cause abscess and infection at the gum line. Some medications can also cause a condition called thrush, which is essentially a yeast-like infection that occurs in your mouth. When this happens, it can be very painful to eat solid foods.

How Can Freiheit Care Help?

Whether you are at home recovering from surgery or need just a little bit of extra help around the house, call us. We offer personalized packages that include an array of services, including meal preparation and light housekeeping. We can assist you or your loved one with cooking in your own homes, using your own ingredients, to help you cook a meal you’ll love.

Additional Information and Recipes

7 Simple Home Organization Tips for Seniors

7 Simple Home Organization Tips for Seniors

Organization

Home organization makes aging in place safer and easier for yourself or your aging loved one. We’ve compiled a list of 7 simple organization tips that can make your life at home easier and more organized while you continue to live independently.

#1 Store Items at Waist Height

As you age, your mobility may lessen. In order to make your belongings more ergonomically convenient, consider storing them at waist height. You can install shelves, use filing cabinets, or place items on tables. If you don’t have to bend to pick it up, not only are you giving your back a break but you are decreasing your likelihood of losing your balance and falling forward.

#2 Keep Furniture Out Of The Walkways

Have you ever stubbed your toe on a chair and had a brief moment of “where did THAT come from!”? To avoid injury we encourage older adults to have their furniture moved out of their direct pathway.

For example, moving chairs away from doorways prevents you or others from walking into it. Equally, ensuring that tables are not in your walking space will prevent you stubbing your toes.

#3 Anchor Your Area Rugs

Just like keeping furniture out of the way reduces the risk of injury, anchoring your area rugs can prevent the corners from flipping up and causing you or your loved one to trip. Carpets, if not anchored, can also pose a slipping hazard as the grips on the bottom may not be enough to keep the rug from sliding around.

#4 Extra Lighting

Using and installing extra lighting is very important for increasing the visibility of your items and home. We recommend using floor lamps and table lamps whenever possible. The extra lighting is especially helpful for individuals who may be experiencing some vision difficulties.

Some people, especially if they awake often in the night, may find it beneficial to install a night-light in their bathroom and/or hallway. This easily lights the way to the bathroom but you don’t have to be worried about it being too bright.

#5 Install Hand Rails

Install hand rails – if you don’t have any already – to your stairs, hallways, shower/tub, or beside your toilet.

Hand rails are the best option for seniors who may feel unsteady on their feet at times. In most cases, hand-rails are drilled right into the stud of the wall, and therefore are the most sturdy option. It is important that these are installed correctly so do get a professional in.

#6 Donate Clothing That No Longer Fits

If you have clothing in your closet that you haven’t worn in a while, consider donating it. Make a rule with yourself when you go through your closet; if you haven’t worn it in the last six months, it’s time to say good-bye.

When you are looking for donation centres, consider the following:

Diabetes Canada

  • You can arrange for a free pick-up from your home, and there are donation bins located in and around Ottawa.

Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy

  • You can arrange for a free pick-up from your home, and there are donation bins located in and around Ottawa

St-Vincent de Paul

  • Drop off to a bin or to a store location.

Value Village

  • Drop off to their donation centre.

Mission Thrift Stores

  • Drop off to their donation centre.

#7 Organizing The Laundry Room

Laundry detergent, softener and dryer sheets, oh my!

The laundry room can get cluttered very quickly, making it difficult to navigate safely. We recommend putting a laundry hamper in the room, that way when you quickly toss clothes in as you walk by, they won’t land on the floor (thus eliminating a tripping hazard!)

We also recommend putting your heavy bottles of laundry detergent at waist height to prevent you from having to bend over to pick it up. By keeping basic body mechanics in mind, you can minimize the risk of straining your back in the laundry room!

Keep a garbage bin in the laundry room as well, so you have somewhere to throw the lint from the dryer. Remember to empty the lint trap after every load to prevent fires.

How Can Freiheit Care Help?

If organizing your home seems like a daunting task, or you are unable to do it yourself, give us a call to find out how we can help. We have customizable packages that we can build for you, ensuring that someone is available to help you organize your home when you need it. Having extra hands while organizing is especially helpful, and even more so when the staff coming in have your health and safety in mind.