October is National Cholesterol Month. Cholesterol can pose a real risk to your beloved senior. High cholesterol can lead to a laundry list of health issues including heightened risk of heart attack, coronary heart disease, and stroke. An important ally in the fight against high cholesterol is a well-balanced diet.
A key to providing in-home senior health care is planning a sensible diet for your loved one that keeps cholesterol down and keeps them healthy long into their golden years. There are many ways to build a healthy meal plan for your loved one. Here are a few tips.
1: Utilize the Assistance of a Caregiver
Providing in-home senior health care is time-consuming. At Senior Helpers, we know how hard it can be to balance work, your other responsibilities, and giving care to your loved one. That’s why we are here to take some of that burden off your back.
Senior Helpers offers comprehensive personal care which includes aiding in all facets of meal preparation. That starts with talking with your loved one about their tastes and favorite foods. From there our caregivers will go shopping for the ingredients and make meals fresh right in the home. They will even sit and enjoy a lovely meal with your loved one and provide added companionship along with their other duties. It is part of our wide-ranging in-home senior health care program.
2: Stay Informed, Provide Balanced Meals
What we know about food and nutrition is constantly evolving. That is doubly so for our knowledge about senior health care. As people age they need fewer calories, so making sure that the calories are nutritious is of the utmost importance.
A great resource is provided by Tufts University’s Health Nutrition Research Center on Aging -- The HNRCA has worked with AARP to develop MyPlate for Older Adults. A modern replacement for the old food pyramid, MyPlate for Older Adults is redesigned and tailored to the dietary needs of contemporary seniors. As with other aspects of in-home senior health care, dietary plans are always changing.
The current MyPlate plan is broken down by food group with an emphasis on produce, both fresh and frozen, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy oils.
3: Get Your Fluids Now and Often
As you can see here on John Muir Health, as people age their sense of thirst decreases. However, their bodies still need fluids to stay hydrated and healthy. That’s why an added component of the MyPlate plan is fluids. Whether they come from drinking water or in a nice bowl of soup, taking in fluids is imperative for the health of your loved one.
On Monday, that could mean a big cup of tea in the morning, water throughout the day, and a bowl of minestrone at night. Tuesday could be orange juice with breakfast, water with lunch, and a healthy strawberry and banana smoothie after dinner. The fluids can change but making sure your loved one is hydrated can make other aspects of providing in-home senior health care much easier.
To get more ideas about how to help your loved one eat right, and to provide sound in-home senior health care, contact us today for more information.