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Caregiver Insights: Senior In Home Care

Elderly Care – Does Your Senior Parent Need to Make Dietary Changes?

By Patrick Philbrick-Director on Feb 16, 2015 12:21:36 PM

Elderly Care in Cameron Park, CA – Does Your Senior Parent Need to Make Dietary Changes?

senior-dietary-changes.jpgSometimes your senior loved has to make changes to his or her diet for health reasons. These changes may include the types of fats that can be eaten, salt intake, increased fiber, and so on. Did you know peoples’ taste buds change as they age? The sense of taste and smell both may diminish, making food seem less appealing than before.

Difficulties eating foods

Sometimes a food your senior loved one used to eat now disagrees with her digestive system. Some people may become lactose intolerant, even if they weren’t before. Gas, stomach pain and diarrhea may result after eating ice cream, cheese or milk-containing foods. The doctor can do a simple lactose intolerance test. Dentures can also affect how your senior eats. If they don't fit well, he or she is less likely to enjoy meals.

Increasing fiber intake

Fiber is only found in plant foods. There is no fiber in protein or dairy. That’s because fiber is an indigestible part of the plant. It helps the digestive system function more smoothly by taking wastes through in a more efficient manner. Eating more fiber can be a great solution for constipation, but keep in mind the person needs to increase their fluid intake as well.

Fruit is rich in the type of fiber that’s good to overcome constipation; that’s why many people eat prunes or drink prune juice. There are other great sources of fiber as well. Remember to slowly increase your daily amounts so your body can get used to the changes.

Some other high-fiber foods are:

· Cooked dry beans, lentils and peas

· Eat the skins on the fruit and vegetables you eat, if possible

· Choose whole-grain and multi-grain bread and pasta instead of white flour

· Eat whole fruit instead of processed fruit juices

Cutting back on salt

Most sodium in a person’s diet comes by way of salt, so cutting back on table salt helps a person reduce the sodium intake in their diet. Most people are using much more salt than they need, and so many packaged and canned foods are loaded with salt. Learning to read the food and nutrition labels so you know how much salt you’re consuming is important.

Instead of salt, try spices, lemon juice, herbs and herb blends you can buy to flavor your food. Some have added salt so look for seasonings with no salt.

Consider hiring an elder care provider to help your aging loved one make healthy changes to his or her diet. Harmony Home Care provides services for the greater Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado Counties including: Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Granite Bay, Roseville, Cameron Park, Placerville and surrounding areas. For more information and a FREE assessment CALL (916) 414-9100.