Poor eating habits, including under- and over-eating, can leave both long-term and short-term consequences for your parents’ health and lifestyles. In the short-term, poor nutrition can contribute to stress, fatigue, and the ability to function properly. In the long run, this condition might increase severe illnesses and other health problems.
Have you ever noticed what your senior parents eat on their own or started paying attention to what they buy at the grocery store? If not, this is a good time to start. Because these things can play a role in your loved ones’ inadequate nutrition. Find out the signs of poor nutrition, and follow these steps to make sure your aging relatives don’t suffer from it.
What Causes Poor Nutrition?
If you suspect your parents are experiencing poor nutrition at home, it might just be a side effect of a bigger problem. A change in their diet didn’t happen overnight and has probably only just started to be visible. As they have aged over the years, small changes to their taste buds, oral health, and mobility become more obvious. As a result, they might ignore nutritious foods and reach for sugary snacks instead.
Are they struggling with holding utensils due to arthritis or not being able to drive to get their own groceries? These small inconveniences make cooking seem like a chore to avoid. They may resent their aging symptoms and not want to face the challenges in the kitchen or eating with groups.
How Can Poor Nutrition Affect Your Senior’s Health?
Poor nutrition impacts the entire mental and physical state of the body. A poor diet can decrease memory and slow down brain waves making everyday tasks challenging. For physical effects, their metabolism and immune system will slow down. This leaves your aging relatives vulnerable to illnesses, and a simple cold could turn into pneumonia. They will also not heal as quickly, with physical cuts taking weeks or longer to heal with the potential for dangerous infections.
A common side-effect of poor nutrition is a lack of energy. If you notice your aging relatives appearing drowsy or sluggish, it could be a warning sign. Their skin may look different in texture and color from being inside more and lacking vitamins. This lack of energy can also impact their social life and leave them too tired to do the hobbies they enjoy or meeting friends.
The Signs Of Poor Nutrition You Need to Watch for
These are the most common signs of poor nutrition:
- Clothing not fitting correctly due to weight loss
- Hair loss
- Cuts that won’t heal
- Slower movements or constantly going for naps
- Becoming more forgetful
- Accidents or an increase in being clumsy
- Sensitivity to cold and wearing layers
These symptoms may also hide more significant conditions. If you see any of these symptoms in your family member, you can ask to schedule a doctor’s appointment to seek medical advice.
6 Healthy Meal Prep Ideas That Can Become Your Senior’s New Best-Loved
Recapture the magic and excitement in food by finding out which one of these yummy snacks will become your senior relative’s new favorite. This list is easy to prepare and contains a balance of fruits and vegetables plus an assortment of different nutrients.
1. Apple Slices Topped With Natural Peanut Butter
Easy to eat and delicious, peanut butter has the notorious perks of containing 7 grams of protein. Peanut butter also contains healthy fats to keep energy levels up and to last throughout the day.
2. Hummus With Fresh Vegetables Or Baked Pita Chip
Just like peanut butter, one serving is 7 grams of protein, but hummus also contains iron and vitamin B6. Protein is especially important to conserve muscle mass and keep a robust immune system.
3. Red Bell Pepper And Guacamole
Bell peppers are high in vitamin C and have also been linked to increasing eye health. Guacamole is made from the superfood avocado packed with healthy fats and a desirable creamy texture.
4. Frozen Fruit Smoothies
This is an excellent option for relatives complaining of gum or teeth sensitivity. They can get their daily fruit intake at their own pace and through an easy-to-use straw.
5. Cinnamon-sprinkled Grilled Peaches
We love suggesting cinnamon! Feel free to sprinkle on toast or our favorite grilled peaches. Cinnamon is linked to several benefits, including being anti-inflammatory, containing antioxidants, and is linked to preventing cancer.
6. Hard-boiled eggs
Easy to make in batches, with a soft texture, this is a great snack for your elderly relatives to grab throughout the day. Eggs do wonders for our brain and bone health. They are a great addition to any diet regardless of age.
You can choose to prepare these together or bring them over during one of your visits. Sharing these delicious snacks will be a great memory to hold onto together.
12 Oaks Senior Living Community
Suppose you think your elderly family member is already suffering from poor nutrition. In that case, it’s a great time to ask for help. Make a plan for their future that involves dedicated twenty-four care and chef-prepared meals. They will no longer be alone during the day and have a new community of other seniors while eating meals. This is a boost emotionally and mentally and a great way to find a new companion.
Consider what our community can do for you and your family. Let our team take care of this daily anxiety and give your family a foundation of comfort. Our team will design a meal plan to increase nourishment and adjust it as your family member gets comfortable. The community we offer increases motivation to eat, and we witness a visible increase in happiness. On top of a chef who plans nutritious meals, we also have amenities available with fridges in rooms so your relatives can have easy access to their favorite snacks or beverages. We create an environment where they will flourish and will see their health as a higher priority.
If you have questions about social isolation or any conditions discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while still leading fulfilling lives. There’s no better place to enjoy the encore season of life than at a 12 Oaks community.
For questions or to schedule a visit, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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Searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a virtual tour.
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