The Most Vital Nutrients for the Elderly

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People of all ages should strive to follow a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients. However, many aging adults have specific nutritional needs, and they may need to be more conscientious about their daily nutrient intake. Here are some of the most vital nutrients for seniors. 

Calcium and Vitamin D

As seniors age, they naturally lose bone density. Mild to moderate loss of bone density is fairly common in aging women, as hormonal fluctuations post-menopause leave them susceptible to osteoporosis. If bones become too brittle, seniors are at risk for severe injuries that can permanently affect their quality of life. Calcium and vitamin D are needed for continued bone health. Calcium supports the density and structure of bones, and it also assists with blood circulation and muscle movement. The nutrient can be found in dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, leafy greens like kale and cabbage, and specially fortified breakfast cereals. 

While calcium promotes healthy bone density, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Without this vitamin, a healthy calcium intake may not be enough to keep aging bones strong. Vitamin D is primarily produced via sun exposure. It’s difficult to get enough vitamin D via food intake, which is why many seniors take vitamin D supplements. 

Older adults who need help preparing nutrient-dense meals should consider professional in-home care. In Fairfield, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Fiber

To boost digestive health, seniors should eat a diet filled with fiber. Foods that are rich in fiber can also boost cardiovascular health and lower diabetes risk. Fiber can be found in vegetables like Brussels sprouts and peas, as well as in whole-grain foods like cereal and bread. 

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 can be difficult for seniors to absorb, which means they may need more B12 than daily intake guidelines recommend. The vitamin increases red blood cell production and regulates nerve function. To add more B12 to the daily diet, seniors should eat foods such as eggs, poultry, fish, and milk. 

From preparing nutritious meals to managing simple housekeeping tasks, seniors may need help with an array of activities. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Fairfield seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Magnesium

Aging bodies sometimes have difficulty absorbing and processing magnesium. The nutrient plays a role in many physiological processes, ranging from energy production to muscle function. It also promotes heart health and keeps the bones strong. When seniors don’t get enough magnesium, they may experience symptoms like chronic pain, cramps, and disrupted sleep cycles. To get more magnesium in the diet, seniors should stock up on vegetables, nuts, and seeds. B12 is found in high quantities in pumpkin seeds, avocados, almonds, spinach, and broccoli. 

Potassium

For seniors with hypertension, potassium should be a dietary staple. Potassium mitigates the negative effects of sodium and helps the body maintain healthy blood pressure. The nutrient may also promote healthy brain activity, boost the nervous system, and assist with fluid balance. To increase their potassium intake, seniors can eat bananas, sweet potatoes, chard, and navy beans.

Switching to nutrient-dense meals is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Fairfield, CT, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at 203-955-1915 today.

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