Eating well is something that’s important for everyone, especially in health-conscious Palo Alto communities and cities such from San Francisco to Menlo Park and Palo Alto. A great many health challenges that we face all through life could be prevented or resolved just by eating the right amounts of the right kinds of food.
Nutrition is a concern for Palo Alto seniors
It’s one of those things that people don’t even think about, in part because we live in a society where food is so readily available. However there is actual a high instance of malnutrition among the elderly, even those who have access to good quality food.
There are two different ways to approach diet and seniors, and both are important to consider:
How eating habits and nutrition affect aging
How aging affects nutrition and eating
The way that we eat has a lot to do with the way that we age. Eating well can prevent or slow a wide variety of maladies. The better quality nutrition seniors have access to, the less severely they will be affected by the aging process. Seniors need a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
The aging process has a big effect on the way that seniors eat. Preparing food can become a real challenge as it takes a great deal of energy to stand for long periods of time, to shop for quality ingredients, to prepare them, and to clean up after it’s all done. The act of eating can even be exhausting, particularly if the individual struggles with chewing.
Poor vision or impaired motor control can contribute to struggles with eating. Seniors can sometimes just forget to eat, particularly if they have neurological challenges. Medications can even contribute to a loss of appetite, and can even interfere with the ability to pull the nutrients out of the food.
The bottom line is that how we relate to food isn’t the same as we age. Nutrition for seniors is just different than it is for younger individuals. Food tastes different as we age, and that can contribute to less of a desire to eat. Eating can become more of a chore and less of a pleasure.
The body itself changes too as we age. Vitamin B12, iron, and calcium are not absorbed as efficiently in seniors as they are in younger people.
How to Help Seniors with Diet
The first step in making a change is to see if there’s a problem. Think about your loved one and ask yourself the following questions to determine if you need to take action:
Can my loved one go shopping on their own?
Can my loved one cook and prepare their own meals?
Does my loved one eat a minimum of two meals each day?
Does my loved one regularly eat vegetable, protein, and fruit?
Does my loved one eat a wide variety of foods?
Does my loved one often forget to eat?
If you answered “no” to any one of these questions, then it’s time for you to take action and help your loved one to eat well for their health and longevity.
NuevaCare’s high quality home care professionals can effectively assist your loved one with shopping for food, preparing meals, cleaning up afterwards, eating, and more. Our caregivers know the Bay Area, and the food preferences of its many diverse residents, and so can help you help your loved one to eat better. They also know the geography – from Burlingame to Los Altos, Santa Clara to Palo Alto, and can work with you on a food strategy that may include light shopping. Keep in mind that this kind of assistance is the key to maintaining health.
Food is a central part of life for most of us, especially in affluent cities such as Menlo Park or Atherton, as well as in the many diverse ethnic communities of the Bay Area, and rightly so. Eating for health is possible for seniors, and it’s something that NuevaCare is here to help with.
We are here to help. To learn more about NuevaCare, simply give us a call at 650-396-3596 or start a conversation using the chat box to the right. A highly trained professional from our office will contact you immediately to discuss your specific needs and to set up an free in home assessment.
Palo Alto Factoid
John F. Parkinson was a man of stature: both in size–he was 6 feet, 3 inches tall–and in business and community life in Palo Alto at the turn of the century. He started a lumberyard in 1892 (on the site of the former Hubbard and Johnson outlet) speculated in land in Ravenswood (now East Palo Alto), ran for state senator (and lost by just a few votes, recalls his family), and published a newspaper called The Citizen from 1904 to 1916. Parkinson was a man who took his civic responsibilities seriously. Injured in Palo Alto’s first automobile accident in 1906, he got out of his sickbed to help organize the food drive for needy San Franciscans after the earthquake. He wasn’t too ill to chastise local merchants for raising prices, and managed to keep a lid on price-gouging, his daughter, Sarah Parkinson, said in an interview with the Weekly in 1986. Source: https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news_features/centennial/1906C.php