Common Nutritional Deficiencies in Seniors

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Nutritional Deficiencies Common in Older Adults

By Carolina Orosa, 9:00 am on

Older adults need proper nutrition each day to maintain a healthy mind and body. A well-balanced diet helps men and women stay active long into their golden years. Vancouver senior care agency Home Care Assistance highlights a few common nutritional deficiencies among the elderly and what can be done to help.

Fiber

Fiber is a vital part of any diet, but it is especially important for the elderly. Intestine motility slows down as the body ages due to changes in the gastrointestinal tract. This also reduces the body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. Dietary fiber helps eliminate uncomfortable constipation with the added benefit of possibly lowering cholesterol levels.

Vitamins

Seniors need to have a balanced array of vitamins as part of a healthy diet. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are a common problem among the elderly, and it manifests itself both mentally and physically. Older adults who are not eating properly may develop anemia, cognitive impairment, infections, and an inability to heal in a timely manner.

Protein

Many seniors are not getting enough protein from their daily meals. Healthy proteins help seniors live longer with a better quality of life. Protein deficiencies in older adults can hinder their immune systems, decreases muscle mass, and slows the healing process.

Calories

Older adults must consume enough calories each day to help fuel their bodies. As people age, they tend to lose some of their appetite but maintaining a healthy calorie intake is essential. The body converts calories from food into much needed energy. It operates off of this energy while breathing, resting, circulating blood, repairing cells, and completing all bodily functions.

Malnutrition

There are many seniors who lack the nutrients they need in their daily diets. Older adults that experience malnutrition may experience various health concerns including muscle weakness, poor wound healing, a weak immune system, and lack of energy. Small changes in the diet make a big difference in the way a senior looks and feels.

Learn more about promoting senior health and nutrition from the experienced staff at Vancouver Home Care Assistance. We offer hourly and live-in home care in Vancouver, ensuring the seniors in our community have the support needed to maintain optimal health and wellbeing. For more information, please call 778-279-3634 and request a complimentary in-home consultation.