Keeping our aged family members healthy and safe is on top of the to-do list for many of us and preparing a healthy diet chart for them can sometimes be challenging. To keep the elderly in your family healthy, you should ensure that they also get the right amount of exercise. However, did you know that a healthy food chart is not the only way to do this? Here are some useful tips that can help people above the age of 60 to stay healthy and happy.
The Basics of Nutrition
Even if the elderly in your family live a healthy lifestyle that involves adequate amounts of exercise, following a healthy diet chart specifically designed for geriatric wellness is a no-brainer. While some of the generic food intake and nutritional guidelines still apply to the elderly, they have certain specific nutritional needs that have to be met.
We often search about what to eat but we miss on an important aspect of nutrition i.e. how much to eat? Even healthy food has to be consumed in a specific amount. Excess of anything is bad!
To help your elderly family members get the best nutrition possible, you need to ensure that they consume a balanced diet with an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, a lot of fresh green vegetables, fruits, nuts and a decent amount of lean protein. Moreover, you also need to ensure that they do not consume foods that are high in added salts or sugars, as this could increase the risk of complications due to high blood pressure and blood sugar respectively.
Points of Concern for the Elderly
While there are several other measures you can take like providing them with a health drink for adults from time to time, here are some exclusive points of health concern for the elderly:
- Healthy Eating
It is always best practice to encourage the aged people in your family to keep away from foods that are high in saturated as well as a trans fat. These are ingredients that contribute to cholesterol and for people above the age of 60 – 65 years, they can lead to coronary heart diseases. You can help them by swapping these with some healthy alternatives.
- Bone and Muscle Strength
Since ageing causes the reduction of both bone and muscle mass, it is vital that you ensure the aged members of your family engage in some form of light physical exercise or yoga. For example, brisk walking once a day for at least 15 to 20 minutes is beneficial in maintaining a healthy bone and muscle density as well as a good lifestyle.
- Good Daily Routine
A habit of sleeping on time, waking up on time, eating on time can have enormous health benefits. Good quality sleep can minimize the risk of diabetes and heart diseases.
- Dental Health
Avoid being solely focused on the maintenance of a healthy diet chart, because dental problems in people above the age of 60 are a major point of concern too. It is not uncommon for the elderly to have some gum diseases or other dental problems, so it is best to provide the elderly with recipes that are healthy as well as soft to chew.
- Importance of Fiber and Fluid
A healthy diet chart for the elderly cannot be complete without an adequate dose of fluids and fibrous foods. Since constipation and dehydration can be common post the age of 60 years, it is of utmost importance that you ensure the aged people in your household consume enough fibre and fluids.
A Healthy Lifestyle for Senior Citizens
Besides nutrition, there are many other components of a healthy lifestyle that you need to factor in when looking for a happy and healthy life for the elderly members of your family.
- Mental Health
For example, mental health is as important as physical health and for people over the age of 60 years, you need to ensure they get a certain level of mental activity to keep their grey cells working. You can craft a few simple yet challenging games for them or even engage them in board games that can stimulate their cognitive functioning.
- Physical Health
For senior citizens to maintain a healthy body and a decent level of physical fitness for general mobility purposes, it is essential that they regulate both their weight and metabolism. Starting them on a protein diet chart or diet plan customised according to their individual health needs can help them in muscle regeneration as well as reduce unwanted fat in their bodies.
Finally, you should also ensure that the elderly in your family take their prescribed medications on time. The effect of ageing can show up as a hearing loss, changes or disturbances in vision, joint pain and mobility issues, memory loss and decline in cognitive functioning, risk of other diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases etc.
Routine health checkups, the right diet and optimum exercise can minimise the risk of serious health complications. With these tips on how to stay healthy for people over the age of 60 years, you will hopefully be better equipped to care for your aged family members.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.