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Caregivers play an important role in monitoring the nutrition of the seniors that they care for. Seniors may not have the motivation to watch their diet as well as they should. Certain nutrients become more important as our bodies age. These are the ones to watch and some of the best food sources to get them from:

  • Calcium and vitamin D for bone health.
    • Food sources: collard greens, kale, broccoli, soybeans, white beans and almonds
  • Fiber to stay regular
  • Potassium for blood pressure and to avoid fatigue and depression.
    • Food sources: beet greens, lima beans, chard, sweet potato, spinach, avocado, pinto beans, lentils.
  • Vitamin B12 for energy and brain function
    • Food sources: sardines, salmon, tuna, cod, lamb, shrimp, beef, yogurt
  • Healthy fats to lower chances of heart disease
    • Food sources: avocado, eggs, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil.

The best way to ensure good nutrition is serving a variety of fruits and vegetables daily, especially the bright colored ones. For example, berries, peaches, carrots, broccoli and kale.

Here are a few ways to make meals and snacking easier:

  • - If the person has a hard time using a knife and fork, serve finger foods. Bite-sized pieces of sandwich, steamed cauliflower pieces, or cut-up fruit might fit the bill.
  • - Too many food choices can be overwhelming, especially if a person is in middle- or late-stage Alzheimer's. Try serving one or two foods at a time.
  • - Some older people may not feel thirsty until they are almost dehydrated. Offer small cups of water throughout the day and foods that have a lot of water, like fruit, soup, or smoothies.
  • - If chewing or swallowing is a problem, try mashing, pureeing, or moistening dry foods with broth, sauce, or milk.
  • - Pump up the taste and smell of meals with spices or herbs like basil and mint.
  • - If he's lost his appetite, put out bowls of nuts and fruit to encourage snacking.
  • - Serve nutritional supplement drinks or make smoothies with protein powder and his favorite fruits when he doesn't want to eat a meal.

Caregivers should eat with their senior when they can. Meals are not just about nutrition but also an opportunity for socializing and human connection, which makes the meal more enjoyable.

If you would like to learn more about dependable in-home help for the elderly and the many benefits of professional senior care at home or dementia and Alzheimer’s care, call Senior Helpers of San Luis Obispo County to speak to a senior care specialist today 805-461-5892!   The compassionate senior care specialists at Senior Helpers can also guide you through the process of receiving the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Benefit if your elderly loved one is a veteran.   In-home senior care and in-home assisted living allows your loved one to stay in the comforts of their own home for as long as possible while receiving the level of care they need. Senior Helpers of San Luis Obispo County provides a wide range of services including Alzheimer’s and dementia care, personal assistance, companionship, and so much more to all areas of San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Cambria, and surrounding areas. Visit for more information.


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