Food poisoning is unpleasant for everyone, but it can be particularly dangerous for seniors. As people get older, their immune systems weaken, making it harder to fight off germs and bacteria. If you’re caring for an aging loved one, practice proper elderly care by being mindful of their nutritional limitations. Here are some quick and easy changes you can make to their diet that can help reduce the risk of food-related issues.
5 Foods to Cut From a Senior’s Diet
1. Unpasteurized Milk
Almost all milk you buy from a supermarket today is pasteurized (heated to extremely high temperatures to make it safe for consumption). But if you purchase milk directly from a farm or a farmer’s market, it might be unpasteurized, which means it can harbor harmful bacteria. Practice safe elderly care and stick with only pasteurized variants.
2. Soft Cheese
Some soft cheeses — like brie or blue cheese — can also be harmful because they’re unpasteurized as well, creating the ideal conditions for food-poisoning bugs. However, hard cheeses and cooked soft cheeses are fine for them to eat.
Even though they are often considered a healthy choice, sprouts such as bean sprouts or alfalfa are actually very dangerous for seniors. Sprouts grow in conditions that are ideal for bacteria like salmonella and E-coli to develop. Without proper attention to elderly care, a senior could become severely ill because of their weakened immune system. Switching to kale or spinach can give you the same benefits without the risk.
4. Cold Meat
Cold cuts like salami, chorizo, and other deli meats are cured, not cooked. This means they run the risk of containing parasites that could cause toxoplasmosis. However, this food-borne illness can be avoided by sticking to cooked meats since the process of cooking makes it safe to eat.
Fresh pâté contains listeria, which can be very serious for seniors as their immune system is less able to fight off this harmful disease. However, seniors can continue to enjoy pâté safely by sticking to the tinned variety, which goes through a heat treatment process that kills dangerous bacteria.
The team at Hillview Health Care Center in La Crosse, WI, focuses on delivering elderly care that respects the unique needs and lifestyles of the residents of their senior community. Their three communities provide a full program of activities and services. For more information on their nutrition services, visit their website or call (608) 789-4800 to speak with a representative.