With our current Craving Companionship program emphasizing
the link between mealtimes and socialization, it’s also important to
remember that the types of meals we enjoy together – and the ingredients
in those meals – are as important as enjoying them with a companion.
Below are a few ingredients vital to your senior loved one’s good health, plus foods in which they can be found:
Calcium strengthens bones, which is especially important to seniors who
are susceptible to falls. Find calcium in milk products,
calcium-fortified orange juice, leafy green vegetables and soy products.
Fiber keeps food moving through the digestive track, and some types of
fiber even reduce cholesterol. Fiber can be found in whole grains,
fruits and vegetables, and beans and legumes.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, but our bodies’ ability to
make Vitamin D on its own decreases as we age. In order to ensure your
senior is getting enough, suggest Vitamin D-fortified yogurt, soy
beverages such as shakes or soy milk, or orange juice.
Vitamin B12 helps keep our nerves and blood cells healthy. However,
aging bodies have a difficult time absorbing B12. Some seniors may need
supplements or injections of B12, although many can instead eat
fortified cereals, tofu, meats, and fish or shellfish to get the amount
their bodies need.
Lastly, one of the most important “nutrients”
for seniors is simple – fluids! Keep in mind that sense of thirst
declines as we age, so you may have to provide ongoing encouragement to
make sure your senior is getting enough to drink. Water, tea or 100%
fruit juice are the best choices.
Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones.
Each Home Instead Senior Care franchise is independently owned and operated.