While eating a very restricted and minimal diet with small portions is at times a good rule to follow, sometime seniors need to stray from that path to be at their healthiest.
You should encourage the senior in your life to not just eat small amounts, but focus on what they are eating. By not eating enough, we lack the proper nutrients necessary to be healthy.
Eating is social.
Depression and loneliness can come easily to seniors who feel isolated. Encouraging the seniors you know to enjoy a meal out with their friends every once in a while can be a way to boost their mood. It’s true that eating at a restaurant is an easy way to exceed the day’s caloric count, but getting some social time is sometimes much more important. Just try to help your loved one make healthy choices while at the restaurant and a sporadic outing to the local eatery will be a great way to improve a senior’s day.
Eating indicates health.
Many expect a senior’s appetite to wane as he or she ages. However, a decreased appetite could just be a symptom of a larger problem. Medication side effects, difficulty chewing or digesting, decreased ability to taste or smell, and depression could all be serious reasons as to why a senior isn’t eating. If you notice a sudden decrease in interest in food, don’t brush it off as an age-related symptom. Talk to them about seeing a health professional.
It’s okay to indulge every once in a while.
When studies compare seniors who eat a healthy diet to those who eat a diet that includes some occasional sweets and dairy, the risks for conditions such as obesity and cardiovascular disease were nearly the same. That being said, it’s not okay to eat multiple desserts a day and expect no impact. This just means its okay to have a small dessert here and there. Make it a special treat. If you, or your loved one, wants to enjoy a favorite pastry or pudding every once in a while, realize that it won’t have drastic effects on your overall, long-term health.
Eating to be healthy doesn’t have to be about always restricting food and eating small amounts. In fact, encouraging seniors to eat could just be the healthiest thing you could do for them.
Freedom Home Care offers services to keep the seniors in your life healthy and happy. Call today to learn how we can help your family.