As we age, being mindful of our nutrition becomes increasingly important. Our dietary needs change as our bodies change.
Working with a team that understands seniors’ dietary needs is essential. We’ve shared a few key factors to remember when considering an assisted living dietary program.
Nutrition as We Age
There are several factors to consider when supporting healthy aging. As we age, our caloric needs decrease, but we’re more prone to vitamin deficiencies. You should consider taking in more fluids and increasing your proteins.
According to the CDC, older adults are more likely to develop chronic diseases, which should be met with different nutritional options.
A healthy diet can help manage the effects of diabetes. For example, controlling carbohydrates by taking in more complex carbs than simple carbohydrates, and aiming to consume less overall, is an essential part of meeting a diabetic’s nutritional needs.
In an assisted care facility, the staff and additional caregivers should be mindful of what should and shouldn’t go into a mealtime plan for an older adult with diabetes.
As we age, we should supplement our diet with several essential vitamins and minerals. Be mindful of eating food rich in or supplementing your diet with these vitamins:
- Vitamin D
- B Vitamins, like B9 & B12
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
Sometimes as we age, a decreased appetite becomes a common problem. When your appetite declines, creating a diet plan that includes increased protein and healthy fats is essential.
We must focus on filling our plates and eating appetizing and nutritionally-balanced foods to maintain our strength.
Over time, we may encounter issues that make swallowing and chewing our foods difficult. This reason is why when staying in an independent living facility, special attention should be given to those with difficulty swallowing to ensure they’re getting enough to eat.
Softer foods should be available for any resident who needs the option.
What do Independent Living Facilities do to Help?
At Ivy Knoll, residents are offered restaurant-style dining rather than a cafeteria. Delicious meals and choosing what you’d like to eat aren’t just good for your appetite, but this dining style is also a great way to visit with family and other residents, building community.
Along with an ideal dining setting, we serve nutritionally balanced foods! All meals are made from scratch, not a can, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
With healthy foods and balanced options, we also encourage active lifestyles for our residents.
Any independent living center should offer residents options and resources for leading a healthy lifestyle.