While consuming healthy snacks is important for people of all ages, it’s especially essential for the elderly. Nutritious snacks can help seniors stay healthy so they can enjoy their golden years. Here are some healthy snacks to offer your elderly loved one and a few facts about how they can keep him or her feeling well.
Bananas are a good snack for elderly people because they’re rich in heart-healthy potassium. If your loved one has edema, or fluid retention, eating a banana or two every day can eliminate excess fluid that has been retained in the soft tissues. While bananas are a healthy food choice, talk to the doctor before offering too many to your loved one. Certain medications, such as beta blockers, can cause high serum potassium levels and, when coupled with potassium-rich foods such as bananas, raise the risk for hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia refers to high levels of potassium in the bloodstream that, if left untreated, can cause weakness, loss of appetite, high blood pressure, and cardiac arrhythmia.
Managing all the aspects of a senior’s health, including diet, can be challenging for a family caregiver. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elderly home care, Phoenix Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. As people age, their immune function isn’t as robust as it was when they were younger. Vitamin C is thought to play a role in optimal immune function and may stave off bacterial and viral infections in aging adults. Oranges may also enhance skin condition in seniors because vitamin C boosts collagen function. When elderly people are unable to eat citrus fruits because of digestive disorders such as acid reflux disease, their physicians may recommend taking multivitamins to avoid vitamin C deficiencies.
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These substances may enhance cardiovascular health and reduce the risk for high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots. Diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids may also help seniors prevent depression and anxiety while enhancing sleep quality. While nuts are a good snack for the elderly, they should only be consumed in moderation. Eating too many nuts may cause abdominal cramps and constipation. If your loved one becomes constipated, make sure he or she drinks plenty of water throughout the day so bowel function can return to normal.
Preparing meals and monitoring their loved ones’ diets are just some of the many responsibilities of family caregivers, who also need to make sure to take care of themselves. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Phoenix, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Hummus is a protein-rich food that may prevent fatigue and weakness, eliminate muscle pain, and boost metabolism. If your loved one develops skin breakdown as a result of thinning skin, decubitus ulcers, or stasis wounds of the lower extremities, eating high-protein foods such as hummus may promote healing. However, if your loved one has renal problems, discuss his or her protein intake with the physician. Eating too much protein may cause the kidneys to work harder and be contraindicated if your loved one has renal failure.
Because of decreased immunity and other health concerns, seniors should eat nutritious foods to maintain optimal health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care services. Phoenix families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. For reliable in-home care services, contact Home Care Assistance at 602.388.1085 today.