This is a mini-series on easy, simple and cost-effective ways that support your loved one’s desire to remain in their own home.
Your loved one’s ability to safely and effectively manage the daily activities of running their home is going to largely depend on their body’s ability to take in, digest and absorb the nutrients it needs.
Healthy Eating, Digestion and Absorption
The food your loved one eats must be able to provide regular energy for the strength, balance and flexibility required to safely perform daily tasks, so it is essential to ensure their diet provides ideal nutritional content.
Many seniors complain about their decreased ability, or desire, to eat as much food as they did as younger adults. It’s important to remember here that the volume of food they are eating is not the issue, but that the food they do eat is as nutritionally dense as possible.
Nutritional deficiencies often result from one or more issues including dehydration, lack of physical exercise, medications, and a decrease in the digestive system’s ability to properly absorb the nutrients as the body ages. It becomes essential these areas are reviewed to determine and then address the underlying causes. Each of these areas will be explored in more detail in future posts.
Ironically, nutritional deficiencies can also be caused by…. nutritional deficiencies! It ends up being a vicious cycle; not identifying, then addressing the need to enhance and support the body’s ability to take in and absorb essential nutrients, will result in further deficiencies, and by extension, be unable to meet the daily physical demands required for interdependent living.
Another challenge to proper digestion and absorption for seniors is the increase of questionable ingredients – including GMOs – in more food products that can contribute to inflammation or other means of irritation in your loved one’s digestive and immune systems which are no longer as robust to process and eliminate from their body. It’s therefore essential to ensure your loved one has regular access to quality, nutritionally-dense food.
A decrease in the production of the hydrochloric acid and/or digestive enzymes as the body ages can also interfere with your loved one’s ability to effectively break down and absorb the nutrients in their food.
Regardless if your loved one is facing one or more of the issues mentioned above, and barring any actual underlying medical issues, the effectiveness of your loved one’s digestive system can be considerably enhanced through a full review of their diet and, when indicated, adding in a simple and inexpensive supplemental support. Consulting with a registered dietician or nutritionist will give you clarity on the best course of action to ensure your loved one’s nutritional needs are met.
Do you need help with taking care of your elderly?
Contact Nancy to inquire about a Caregiver Action Plan assessment where all aspects of care are reviewed in order to help families create a more dynamic and positive experience for the care of their loved ones.
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Nancy Glover, a healthy aging advocate, mentors extraordinary women and men who have stepped into the challenging role of caring for their elderly spouse or parent by managing their well-being in the later stages of life. Blending first-hand expertise with practical step by step systems to support the needs, goals, and desires of the elderly spouse or parent, Nancy helps caregivers maneuver the complex and often challenging role with supportive advocacy and resources that equally focus on everyone’s well-being. Learn more about her at www.agingwithgrace.ca and sign up to receive timely information and strategies to empower caregivers and families in transition.