More than ‘just’ Personal Alarms, Bora Health’s series on Independent Living advice for Seniors. This week – Eating well over 65… Part 6
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 6
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: Overcoming obstacles
Let’s face it, there’s a reason why so many of us have trouble eating nutritiously every day. Sometimes it’s just quicker or easier to eat unhealthy food. If you’re having trouble getting started on a healthy eating plan, these tips can help:
Say “no” to eating alone
Eating with others can be as important as adding vitamins to your diet. A social atmosphere stimulates your mind and helps you enjoy meals. When you enjoy mealtimes, you’re more likely to eat better. If you live alone, eating with company will take some strategizing, but the effort will pay off.
- Make a date to share lunch or dinners with children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors on a rotating basis.
- Join in by taking a class, volunteering, or going on an outing, all of which can lead to new friendships and dining buddies.
- Adult day care centers provide both companionship and nutritious meals for older adults who are isolated and lonely, or unable to prepare their own meals.
- Senior meal programs are a great way to meet others. Contact your local Senior Center, YMCA, congregation, or high school and ask about senior meal programs.
Loss of appetite
First, check with your doctor to see if your loss of appetite could be due to medication you’re taking, and whether the medication or dosage can be changed. Try natural flavour enhancers such as olive oil, vinegar, garlic, onions, ginger, and spices to boost your appetite.
Make chewing easier by drinking smoothies made with fresh fruit, yogurt, and protein powder. Eat steamed veggies and soft food such as couscous, rice, and yogurt. Consult your dentist to make sure your dentures are properly fitted.
Drink 8 – 10 glasses of water each day. Take a drink of water after each bite of food, add sauces and salsas to your food to moisten it, avoid commercial mouthwash, and ask your doctor about artificial saliva products.
I don’t like healthy food
If you were raised eating lots of meat and white bread, for example, a new way of eating might sound off-putting. That’s understandable. But view eating healthily as an adventure and start with small steps:
- First and foremost, commit to keeping an open mind. Just because a food is healthy, it doesn’t mean it can’t be tasty as well.
- Try including a healthy fruit or veggie at every meal. You don’t have to change everything all at once. Add a side salad to your dinner, for example, or substitute unhealthy fries with baked sweet potato fries, or have a smaller portion of desert and fill up with melon and pineapple slices.
- Focus on how you feel after eating well – this will help foster new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel afterwards
Stuck in a rut
No matter how healthy your diet, eating the same foods over and over is bound to get boring. Rekindle inspiration by browsing produce at a farmers market, reading a cooking magazine, buying foods or spices you haven’t tried before, or chatting with friends about what they eat. By making variety a priority, you’ll find it easier to get creative with healthy meals.
If you can’t shop or cook for yourself…
There are a number of possibilities, depending on your living situation, finances, and needs:
- Take advantage of home delivery. Many grocery stores have Internet or phone delivery services.
- Swap services. Ask a friend, neighborhood teen, or college student if they would be willing to shop for you.
- Share your home. If you live alone in a large home, consider having a housemate/companion who would be willing to do the grocery shopping and cooking.
- Hire a homemaker. Try to find someone who can do the shopping and meal preparation for you.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals to people who are homebound and/or disabled, or would otherwise be unable to maintain their dietary needs. The daily delivery generally consists of two meals: a nutritionally balanced hot meal to eat at lunch time and a dinner, consisting of a cold sandwich and milk along with varying side dishes. See the Resources section below for information on finding a program in your area.
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.