What your senior eats matters a lot more than she might realize.
From her perspective, she might just be looking for filling foods that taste good, regardless of their nutritional content. Your elderly family member might also have the perspective that she’s gotten to this stage in life, so she can eat whatever she wants. While that’s true to an extent, it’s vital that she’s getting the nutrients that benefit her the most.
Malnutrition Leads to Big Problems
Malnourishment is a huge problem for older adults. Not getting the nutrients that she needs can weaken your senior to the extent that her existing health issues become larger problems. She may even find herself in the hospital or needing more medical assistance than she’s needed in the past. It can take her longer to recover.
She Needs the Protein
Protein in particular is important for older adults. Your senior is more likely to be losing muscle tone, which can be detrimental for her in a variety of ways. Exercise can help her to retain her muscle tone, but if your senior isn’t eating properly that can be impossible for her. Protein is the basic building block that your senior needs in order to maintain the muscles that she has.
Her Immune System Needs Fuel
Your senior’s immune system also needs fuel in order to function. If her body isn’t properly fueled, your elderly family member may find that she’s feeling run down more often. In a worst-case scenario, she may actually be ill far more often, too. Eating a variety of nutritious foods helps your senior to have the carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber that she needs to keep her body functioning as well as possible.
Her Body Needs Fuel to Heal
Beyond the big issues, your senior has little bumps, bruises, and scrapes that need to heal, too. When your senior isn’t getting the nutrients that she needs, her little injuries are more likely to become larger injuries. Keeping little wounds at bay can help to prevent bigger health issues down the road and if eating a little bit healthier is the key to that, she should be considering taking that route.
Too often the big barrier for aging adults to healthier eating is that it takes so much time and energy to cook meals. If that’s the case for your senior, then elder care providers may be able to take care of those tasks for her.