Many family caregivers go to great lengths to ensure that they are doing the best for their loved one. Unfortunately, some family caregivers may be doing their loved one a disservice by continuing to hold onto myths about nutrition. There are certain myths about nutrition that have not only been accepted as true by society, but by some health professionals until the last decade.
As a leading provider of senior home care in Cincinnati, we wanted to share the top three senior nutrition myths most commonly accepted by family caregivers. This way, you can ensure optimal levels of health and wellness for the loved ones under your care.
Myth #1: Seniors Have Decreased Nutritional Needs
Even if activity is decreased for the senior, this does not mean that his or her nutritional requirements have decreased as well. Restricting nutrient consumption can lead to serious health problems including malnourishment. Some elders, specifically those with advanced health conditions, will actually have increased nutritional needs which must be met on a daily basis. Prescribed medications may also require a senior to increase their intake of certain vitamins and nutrients.
Myth #2: Decreased Appetite is Normal
A lack of or decreased appetite is commonly attributed to the aging process. However, a decrease in appetite is often an indicator of a more severe or underlying problem. For instance, a senior who has tooth pain may have trouble chewing, making meal time an unpleasant event which leads to what appears to be a decrease in appetite. Decreased appetite may also be a warning sign of depression or dementia according to geriatric studies. Changes in appetite should always warrant a checkup with the family physician to ensure overall health and wellness.
Myth #3: Seniors Can’t Be Overweight and Malnourished
When a loved one carries a few extra pounds, it seems they cannot also be malnourished. This is not exactly true. Weight gain is not always about the amount of food being consumed, but sometimes the type of food as well. An abundant diet is not healthy if it does not provide the senior with the nutrients that his or her body requires to operate at maximum efficiency. If your loved one is overweight, be sure they have the ability to attain and prepare fresh, healthy meals. If they are unable to do so because of a disability or mobility issue, consider a meal delivery service or a professional Cincinnati home caregiver who can prepare nutritious meals according to dietary preferences.
If you are concerned about a loved one and their ability to meet daily nutritional requirements or are interested in learning more about senior nutrition and wellness, contact Home Care Assistance of Cincinnati today. Although we specialize in live-in care, we also provide part-time home care for Cincinnati seniors who need minimal assistance with daily activities like cooking, light housekeeping and transportation to the grocery store. Call 513-891-2273 to speak with a Care Manager and provide your loved one with the assistance they need to remain healthy and safe at home.