Thursday, May 16th, 2013

5 Obstacles to Good Nutrition in Seniors

As we grow older, many changes occur in the way our bodies use food.

Our activity level decreases so we need to cut calorie intake to stay at a healthy weight. But the need for nutrients remains the same—so we need to “eat smart” only foods with higher nutrients. However older adults also face the problem of loss of appetite that again results either due to chronic illness or at times sue to the body’s decreased ability to tell us we are hungry; or from a lessened sense of taste. So over here we tell you identify some of the common obstacles that seniors usually face in adding up to their nutrition quotient. Read on…

  • Physical limitations, such as stroke, arthritis or Parkinson’s disease make eating difficult or discouraging, an occupational therapist can help the person learn to eat independently. And look for helpful adaptive devices, such as large-handled spoons and non-skid plates.
  • Chewing and swallowing can also be a problem. This might be caused by missing teeth, poorly fitted dentures, stroke or other conditions that affect swallowing. Good dental care is vital. And therapy is available to help with swallowing difficulties. Meals can be prepared in a special way, with food processed to make eating easier.
  • Depression and loneliness may cause loss of appetite. Eating is often a social activity, and persons who live alone are less likely to prepare nutritious meals.
  • Seniors on a limited income may skimp on nutritious food. But help is available through a variety of senior nutritional programs, such as “Meals on Wheels.” Simple, inexpensive recipes for nourishing meals are also available.
  • Some medications change the way our bodies process food. Some even block the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. Other drugs decrease the appetite.
  • Some digestive disorders make it harder for the body to use nutrients.
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Category: Seniors
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