Food can be a complicated situation with your senior.
On the one hand, she’s definitely old enough to eat what she wants and to understand that her body needs nutrients. But on the other, her stubbornness about eating the wrong foods might be creating health hazards for herself.
Muscle Needs Protein
As she ages your elderly family member loses muscle tone. If she’s exercising, she can try to slow that process down a little bit. But it also matters that she’s eating enough protein. If she’s not, then her muscles don’t have what they need to maintain themselves. Her body still needs protein and it will slowly break down her muscles in order to get that protein
Her Immune System Could Suffer
Your senior’s entire body runs on fuel, of course, but in particular her immune system needs the right fuel. When it’s running properly your senior’s immune system fights off a variety of different illnesses and problems. But without the right fuel, in the form of nutritious foods, her immune system isn’t functioning the way that it should be. She might start out feeling a little run down, but that can quickly lead to bigger illnesses.
Bruises and Wounds May Be Slower to Heal
Her immune system does a lot more than just keep your senior from being sick, though. It also helps to repair wounds, like cuts, scrapes, and bruises. If her immune system is already not working up to full strength, then her body is going to significantly slow down how rapidly it repairs even minor wounds. This can leave her open to developing infections, which is never a good thing.
She May Even End up Needing Medical Intervention
In extreme cases of malnutrition, your senior may need medical help in order to recover. That might mean more doctor visits, but the worst-case scenario is that she winds herself up in the hospital. She might not want to eat healthier, but she probably would rather change her diet than find herself stuck in the hospital because she was too stubborn to eat some more vegetables.
Eating healthy meals is a priority but that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy one for your senior to meet. She may need some help preparing meals or even shopping for the foods that are healthiest for her to eat. Home care providers can take over some of those tasks for her, ensuring she’s able to eat the nutritious food she needs.