As our bodily and dietary needs change over the course of life, our eating habits also need to adapt to these changes. At times, using a particular medication may even require changes in the diet. Considering older adults’ varying needs and requirements, meal planning for your loved one may feel like an uphill challenge. Assisted living in Elverson, PA is an excellent choice for those who want to fully enjoy their golden years. Dining in an assisted living community ensures your loved one receives nourishment without the stress. Let the professionals prepare the meals, taking away the stress of planning, organizing, and even washing up after meals. Healthy aging is reinforced by a diet that meets nutritional needs to maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of chronic diseases. These are some ways that assisted living communities plan meals for seniors’ health.
Providing a variety of foods from different food groups is essential as it makes the diet balanced. Choosing foods with reduced or no added sugar, sodium, or saturated fats reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
Some assisted living communities offer variety in the menu selection, allowing their residents to choose. It also makes eating more interesting, especially for older adults who are not interested in eating.
Focuses on Nutrient Needs
Nutrients such as protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin D, B12, and dietary fiber are vital to older adults. Proteins are essential to maintaining muscle mass and are easily available in soy products. Sliced fruits and vegetables in meals or snacks provide the needed vitamins and dietary fiber. Cereals or other foods fortified with vitamin B12 help generate cell growth.
Your loved one may lose the sense of thirst with age. Besides offering plenty of water, providing a range of beverages is essential to tingle the desire to drink. Beverages such as skimmed or fat-free milk, lactose-free milk, fresh juices, or smoothies are healthy options. Limit drinks that have high sugar content.
Takes Note of Restrictions
Different bodies have different reactions to food. Meal planning in assisted living communities will have to take note of the various food restrictions of their residents, such as allergies. Other medications also react differently to consumed food. For example, dairy products interfere with the absorption of certain antibiotics, and grapefruit inhibits the functions of medicines for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Designs the Eating Environment
Mealtimes are not just about food. It is also about who you are eating with and where and how the food is served. That is why at Spring Mills Senior Living, our residents dine in our elegantly designed Sensations dining room, where they enjoy restaurant-style dining with table-side service. With our friendly team members taking care of the meal needs, our residents spend mealtimes chatting, sharing stories, and discussing events with one another. Research has shown that eating with others improves appetite. And older adults who eat alone are more prone to depressive symptoms and experience more weight fluctuations.