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Living Alone Is Detrimental to Senior Nutrition
Many factors contribute to poor nutrition among seniors who live alone, but the bottom line is this:
Living alone is detrimental to senior nutrition.
Adequate nutritional intake is important for everyone, but especially so for the young and the young at heart.
As people age, their appetites may decrease because the body’s metabolism slows, however, getting a balanced diet remains as important as ever before.
A 2015 study (1) by Katherine L. Hanna and Peter F. Collins at the University of Queensland looked into 41 separate studies that cover nutrition and eating habits. Results suggested that people who live alone eat a less diversified diet, with a lower intake of fruits, vegetables, and fish. They also are more likely to eat unhealthy foods, such as those that are pre-packaged and high in sugar, salt, and/or fat.
Poor nutrition can lead to
• A weakened immune system – increased susceptibility to disease and infection
• Loss of muscle and bone health – movements become more difficult; bones break more easily
• Weight gain – manifestation or worsening of hypertension and high cholesterol, which can lead to stroke
• Depression – physical well-being impacts mental health
Aging loved ones need help in monitoring their diets to ensure that they are eating regularly and healthy.
At Red Bud Assisted Living Center, we recommend the following for healthy diets in seniors:
• Foods high in fiber to help with cholesterol management: oatmeal, apples, pears, and kidney beans.
• Foods to help with lower blood pressure: fish, lower sodium dishes
• Snacks for good blood vessel health: nuts, trail mix
• Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables
• Freshly-made meals, rather than prepackaged products
When mealtime preparation becomes difficult for the senior and the caregiver isn’t able to assist on a daily basis, it may be time to consider an assisted living center.
For more information on this or other topics related to assisted living, please contact Executive Director Tracey Harris.
Telephone: (405) 547-8311
Red Bud Assisted Living Center
215 W. Freeman
Perkins, Oklahoma 74059