Despite all the information that’s available today when it comes to seniors and nutrition, there are still some lingering myths based on half-truths that can be confusing to caregivers trying to help their senior loved ones maintain a healthy diet. To help clear things up, Caledon Home Care Assistance presents some of the most common nutrition myths regarding seniors, along with some much-appreciated clarifications:
Myth #1: Seniors Need Fewer Nutrients Since Their Metabolism is Slower
Fact Check: Even with a slower metabolism, your senior loved one isn’t absorbing nutrients as efficiently as they did when they were younger. To compensate for this, seniors actually need more nutrients, especially calcium, B12 and vitamin D.
Myth #2: Slim Seniors Can Eat Anything They Want
Fact Check: Seniors who are naturally slim or within the average weight for their age still need to maintain a well-balanced diet. Consuming too many foods loaded with sugars and saturated fats can pose other problems, including an increased risk of developing heart disease and conditions like diabetes.
Myth #3: It’s OK to Skip Meals
Fact Check: Regardless of age, skipping meals is never a good thing. Encourage your senior loved one to start their day with a healthy breakfast and enjoy small snacks throughout the day. If loss of appetite is an ongoing concern, it’s time to talk to the doctor to determine if there are medical reasons for this.
Myth #4: Dividing Meals Saves Money and Hassle
Fact Check: While there’s nothing wrong with leftovers, dividing meals also means a reduction in nutritional value, especially if your loved one is getting prepared meals delivered.
Note: Some seniors also have a decreased sense of smell that can make it difficult to tell when foods have gone bad.
Myth #5: Only Drink Fluids When Thirsty
Fact Check: Seniors can still become dehydrated even when not thirsty. As a general rule, it’s best to keep water or low-calorie beverages handy throughout the day.
If you are concerned about an aging parent or loved one’s ability to attain fresh food or prepare nutritious meals, call a Home Care Assistance of Caledon Care Manager at 905-951-8885. We provide hourly and live-in home care for Caledon seniors, helping with daily activities such as cooking, light housekeeping, personal care, medication reminders and so much more. Schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with us today and see how our highly trained and compassionate caregivers could benefit your aging parent, grandparent or loved one.