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Common Myths about Senior Nutrition

Nutritional intake and a healthy diet are arguably more important for seniors than any other age group, and with so many common myths, it can be difficult for older people to meet their unique nutritional needs. By understanding these myths, you can start to formulate a meal plan that helps your friend or relative to maintain their health later in life.

 

People naturally lose their appetite as they age

Decreased energy output and metabolic changes do mean that elderly people require less food than younger adults, however a loss of appetite can be the sign of a serious health problem. Dental issues or a decreased sense of taste often make it appear as if there is a decrease in appetite when there isn’t. Sudden weight loss in your friend or relative should be taken as a health warning and merit a trip to the doctor.

 

Elderly people just need to follow healthy eating guidelines

Healthy eating guidelines have been developed through decades of research, however they often don’t account for the special nutritional needs of elderly people in a number of ways, such as:

 

 

  • Some ingredients of certain foods may react badly to medication.

  • Some foods can worsen conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing may make certain food guidelines challenging.

  • Elderly people need higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals for good health, and this isn’t always reflected in healthy eating guidelines.

Slower metabolisms mean fewer nutrients are needed

Elderly people may not need as many calories than younger adults, but this shouldn’t be at the expense of any nutrients. In fact, many elderly people require more nutrients and should increase their intake of vitamin B12, D and calcium.

 

Being slightly overweight in old age is a sign of health

You may have heard of a study suggesting that being moderately overweight in later life is a sign of good health, however many other studies have rebuked this. Being overweight in later life increases the risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, being overweight can lead to limited mobility for your friend or relative, which can cause dangerous falls.

 

There’s nothing wrong with older people eating alone

Elderly people who live alone may find it difficult to prepare filling and nutritious, and eating every meal alone can result in increased levels of stress, anxiety and loneliness, which can be dangerous. At Charmes Care, our personal care services ensure your elderly friend or relative not only receives a healthy diet suited to their needs, but that they have someone to eat with and discuss their day.

 

For more information about our nutrition service, simply give the team at Charmes Care a call on 01983 530458 or get in touch with us online today.