More than ‘just’ Personal Alarms, Bora Health’s series on Independent Living advice for Seniors. This week – Eating well over 65… Part 4
Community interest company, Bora Health, is the exclusive Australian distributer of the SureSafe Personal Alarm. As part of its continued commitment to elderly Australians in their quest to maintain independent living, Bora Health is launching a series of articles aimed at promoting the health and wellbeing of the baby boomers as they look to make the most of their hard earned retirement years. This week – Eating well over 65… Part 4
For adults over 65, the benefits of healthy eating include increased mental acuteness, resistance to illness and disease, higher energy levels, faster recuperation times, and better management of chronic health problems. As we age, eating well can also be the key to a positive outlook and staying emotionally balanced. But healthy eating doesn’t have to be about dieting and sacrifice. Whatever your age, eating well should be all about fresh, colourful food, creativity in the kitchen, and eating with friends.
Healthy eating over 65: Changing dietary needs
Every season of life brings changes and adjustments to your body. Understanding what is happening will help you take control of your nutrition requirements.
- Metabolism. Every year over the age of forty, our metabolism slows. This means that even if you continue to eat the same amount as when you were younger, you’re likely to gain weight because you’re burning fewer calories. In addition, you may be less physically active. Consult your doctor to decide if you should cut back on calories.
- Weakened senses. Your taste and smell senses diminish with age. Older adults tend to lose sensitivity to salty and bitter tastes first, so you may be inclined to salt your food more heavily than before—even though older adults need less salt than younger people. Use herbs, spices, and healthy oils—like olive oil—to season food instead of salt. Similarly, older adults tend to retain the ability to distinguish sweet tastes the longest, leading some to overindulge in sugary foods and snacks. Instead of adding sugar, try increasing sweetness to meals by using naturally sweet food such as fruit, peppers, or yams.
- Medications and illness. Some prescription medications and health problems can often negatively influence appetite and may also affect taste, again leading older adults to add too much salt or sugar to their food. Ask your doctor about overcoming side effects of medications or specific physical conditions.
- Digestion. Due to a slowing digestive system, you generate less saliva and stomach acid as you get older, making it more difficult for your body to process certain vitamins and minerals, such as B12, B6 and folic acid, which are necessary to maintain mental alertness, a keen memory and good circulation. Up your fiber intake and talk to your doctor about possible supplements.
- Loneliness and depression. Loneliness and depression affect your diet. For some, feeling down leads to not eating and in others it may trigger overeating. Be aware if emotional problems are affecting your diet, and take action by consulting your doctor or therapist.
- Death or divorce. Some newly single adults may not know how to cook or may not feel like cooking for one. People on limited budgets might have trouble affording a balanced, healthy diet.
Malnutrition is a critical health issue among older adults caused by eating too little food, too few nutrients, and by digestive problems related to aging. Malnutrition causes fatigue, depression, weak immune system, anaemia, weakness, digestive, lung, and heart problems, as well as skin concerns.
Tips for preventing malnutrition as you age
- Eat nutrient packed food
- Have flavorful food available
- Snack between meals
- Eat with company as much as possible
- Get help with food preparation
- Consult your doctor
Who is Bora Health?
Bora Health is an Australian, British and American owned and operated community focused company, providing elderly Australians and their families with access to the information, products and services necessary to support affordable independent living. It is the exclusive authorised distributor of the SureSafe Personal Emergency Call System; a non-monitored personal alarm (otherwise known as an auto-dialer or smart-dialer medical alert), telephone based medical alarm system for Seniors.
Click here to buy a SureSafe Personal Emergency Call System for only $229 (including GST and Express Postage). Peace of mind for you, safety and security for your loved one.