In providing elder care to a treasured senior in your life, it only makes sense that you want them to maintain a nutritious diet, one that best supports their overall health and wellness. During the holidays, there is often an increase in the consumption of heavy foods, from multicourse celebratory feasts to sugary cookies, candies, and other sweets. Below are a few elder care tips to help a senior make good nutritional choices this holiday season.
A Guide to Healthy Holiday Eating for Seniors
1. Monitor Salt Intake
In general, seniors should avoid shaking any additional salt over a plate of food. More than likely, every item on the plate was prepared with salt, and most prepackaged products are full of sodium. Studies have shown that aging worsens the adverse effects of a high-salt diet, which can include high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, dementia, and kidney issues.
2. Maintain a Normal Eating Schedule
Aging bodies need to stay nourished and hydrated throughout the day, so regular meal and snack schedules should not be disrupted. This can sometimes be a challenge around the holidays when there are frequent parties, events, outings, and get-togethers—any of which can interrupt a senior's standard eating routine.
Aim to eat as close to regular mealtimes as possible; avoid serving an overly heavy meal late in the evening; and if a loved one needs to keep their blood sugar and energy levels stable, have a snack or two handy.
3. Practice Moderation
Most seniors can—and should—safely enjoy a treat now and then throughout the holiday season, but moderation is key. Keep an eye on how much alcohol, sugar, and fatty foods they indulge in; alcohol is especially concerning since it interacts with many medications.
If you are unsure of what foods an older individual can treat themselves to, visit their doctor with them and ask questions. An informed loved one is better equipped to provide the necessary levels of elder care and support.
If your senior loved one needs professional elder care support, over the holidays or at any time of year, trust the compassionate caregivers at Visiting Angels. They serve clients throughout the Medina, Strongsville, Brunswick, Hinckley, Valley City, Wadsworth, Brecksville, and Richfield, OH, areas. They provide quality non-medical home care and assistance with the tasks of daily living. Call (330) 723-0300 or visit them online to schedule elder care services today.