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Nutrition Tips for Seniors

Maintaining a balanced diet of healthy foods and the foods you love should be a lifelong resolution. But, as we age, our body’s needs start to change. Your metabolism slows down, your appetite may be reduced, and the levels of stomach acid can also reduce, inhibiting digestion and the absorption of nutrients.

But, still, seniors need just as many vitamins and minerals from the food they eat as anyone else. To help you or your loved one eat right through their senior years, here are some essential nutrition tips to follow.

Eat and drink regularly

This one might sound obvious but, as we get older, the signals of thirst and hunger that we usually feel become weaker. This is why it’s important to drink water regularly throughout the day even if you don’t feel thirsty, and to ensure you’re eating enough, too. Planning your meals for the day or week ahead will ensure you stick to a balanced eating regime and get all the energy and nutrients you need.

Eat lots of fresh fruit and veg

Since your metabolism slows down as you age and you may also be less physically active, you need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. This means you need to eat less. But, at the same time, you still need to pack lots of essential vitamins and minerals into your diet. Fresh fruit and vegetables are an important part of this. They provide you with lots of important nutrients while remaining low in calories.

Look after your bones

We naturally lose bone density as we age, which can lead to problems like osteoporosis. Calcium is essential to maintaining bone strength, and vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium in your diet. So, these are two nutrients that you can’t ignore. Include plenty of dairy products in your diet or other non-dairy sources of calcium. As well as the sun being a source of vitamin D, there are lots of healthy foods with vitamin D to include in your diet.

Increase fiber intake

Our bodies become less effective at digesting food as we age. Eating lots of dietary fiber helps with your digestion and lowers the risks for a number of health conditions, including stroke and heart disease.

Healthy sources of nutrients

We don’t recommend cutting out a food group (like carbs) entirely. Instead look for healthy sources of fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Avoid processed foods, choose whole grains for a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, include more non-meat sources of protein, and healthy fats from nuts, fatty fish, eggs, and other sources.

If you continue to eat right in your senior years and adapt your diet to your changing needs, you’ll benefit from a boosted immune system, higher energy levels, better mental acuity, greater bone strength, and much more.

For more senior health advice or support with caring for a senior loved one, contact Bermuda Village, providers of independent living and assisted living in Advance, NC.

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Winter Health Tips for Seniors

With cold weather, icy ground, and an increase in cold and flu infections, seniors in particular are at greater risk during the winter season. If you’re caring for a senior loved one or are looking for advice on looking after your own wellbeing, then here are some easy-to-follow health tips for seniors this winter.

Get your flu shot

Since influenza is more commonly contracted in cold weather, it’s important now more than ever to make sure you’re up to date with your flu shots. While the flu is often harmless, complications arising from it are much more common among seniors. It can lead to dehydration, pneumonia, and other dangerous conditions.

Dress for the weather

When you go outside in the cold, especially in the snow and frost, it’s important to dress appropriately. This means lots of layers and winter clothing to keep you warm and reduce exposure of your skin to the cold air. These measures prevent the risk of hypothermia and frostbite in freezing temperatures.

It also means suitable footwear that will help you maintain your grip on slippery surfaces. Falls on ice can lead to fractures, head trauma, and other injuries. If you’re worried about the risk of falling, then avoid walking outside until the paths are clear, or use a cane or other walking aid if you must go outside.

Your mental health

The cold and darkness in the winter can get people down, even leading to the condition known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Combat these effects by staying active, social, getting out in the fresh air and sunlight when possible, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Prepare for storms

If your area is prone to winter storms, then you should also prepare for the chances of power outages in your home. Some essentials to keep are non-perishable foods, bottled water, flashlights, and blankets. Make sure to wrap up warm in your home if the power goes out and you have no alternative heat source.

Be careful on the roads

Driving in bad conditions can be dangerous for anyone, but accidents occur more frequently among the senior population. Make sure your car is prepared for winter by having it serviced and fitting the proper tires. If possible, avoid driving if the roads are icy or in snowstorms.

If you need help caring for a senior loved one this winter, or are looking for alternative senior living options, then contact Bermuda Village for independent living and care in Advance, NC.