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Getting Essential Nutrients for Your Aging Loved One

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When it comes to cooking and preparing meals for aging adults, expert home caregivers in Palm Beach County pay special attention to the unique nutritional needs of senior adults. Ensuring that your elderly relative gets proper nutrition is vital to enhancing and maintains quality of life and optimum health.

To help ensure that you meet the nutritional needs of an aging parent or loved one, here are the four nutrients that adults over 50 are most commonly lacking:

  1. Calcium – Older adults need increased amounts of calcium as their bones become weaker. Seniors who do not get the daily recommended amount of calcium may develop osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones weaken and cause joint painand possible injury. While getting adequate calcium from a natural diet rich in healthy dairy products in recommended, men and women over 50 can also consider taking a calcium supplement of 1,000- 1,2000 mg a day.As always, discuss medications and supplements with a doctor beforehand, as dangers have been associated with consuming too much calcium as well.
  2. Vitamin B12 – This essential nutrient is an absolute necessity when it comes to building up the red blood cells in the body and supporting the immune and nervous systems. Vitamin B12 is abundant in certain meats, eggs, fish and milk. Many older adults have trouble getting enough B12 from food and may need to supplement with 2.4 mcg pill daily.
  3. Folic Acid – It is also possible that your aging loved one simply doesn’t get enough folate, or folic acid, in their diet. Folate is a B vitamin that is commonly found in leafy greens, fruits and vegetables like broccoli and asparagus. This essential acid helps to fight anemia, lower risk for hypertension and may also reduce the risk of getting cancer. The Recommended Dietary Allowances for folate supplementation are 400 mcg a day.
  4. Protein – Many people lose muscle mass as they age and this can be especially problematic in older adults. Muscle tone helps the body to stabilize, preventing falls and avoiding injury. Daily exercise, consisting of resistance exercises and light cardio, paired with a nutritious high-protein diet is the best course of action.  Beans, red meat and eggs are excellent sources of protein that will benefit your elderly loved one. If aging adults have difficult eating regular meals, supplementing with a quality whey protein shake is another option.

When it comes to getting the best nutrition for your aging loved one, education and help from an hourly or live-in Palm Beach County caregiver are both key. All Palm Beach caregivers from Home Care Assistance have undergone thorough culinary training, enabling them to naturally enrich your aging loved one’s diet with the essential vitamins and minerals and help them to live long and healthy lives.

For more information on how Home Care Assistance of Palm Beach County can help your aging loved one at home, call 561-429-8292. Our Care Managers are available to answer questions 24/7 and we offer free, in-home consultations where you can learn more about our home care services.