In most cases, when we discuss proper nutrition, we are focused only on the food we take. This is quite logical, but the fact is that there are few other things that have impact on nutrient intake. Numerous studies in different parts of the world have shown that many people, especially the elderly, are dealing with vitamin C, B6, A, calcium, magnesium and other types of deficiency. These studies have also determined that the deficiency increases with the aging process. There are different economic, social, psychological and physiological factors that contribute to the quality of nutrition in the elderly.
First of all, disease can have great impact on the diet of senior citizens. Many diseases lead to lack of appetite which means more chances to get the right nutrients. Diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, cardiovascular disease and liver disease are some of the health issues that lower appetite in all people especially in the elderly.
We should not forget that the elderly usually take more than one medication regularly and many of these over the counter or prescribed medications don’t allow the body to use the nutrients they get in a proper way. They have slower metabolisms and reduced capability to absorb the nutrients even when they take them. Furthermore, the elderly often forget that it is time to eat; some of them don’t know which foods are best for them etc. Besides the adequate intake of food, senior citizens must take care of hydration. Drinking at least 6 glasses of water a day is a must. It is also highly recommended for the elderly to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes because these habits affect the work of the digestive system and prevent the absorption of nutrients.
One of the ways to make sure that the elderly are getting the necessary nutrients is the help of a good homecare agency. The professional care workers who work there will assist the senior citizens in their everyday activities and remind them what and when to eat. In some homecare packages, these workers will also aid the elderly prepare their own food or prepare the meal for them. They are trained and qualified to work with this category of people and they know what to do in order to protect their health. It is always a good idea to hire someone who will monitor the diet of an older person.