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Home Care Assistance: Healthy Eating Tips for Elderly

Healthy Eating Tips for the Elderly

| Amanda Payne | , ,

We all know how challenging it can be to find the motivation to cook healthy meals, especially during the colder months. However, maintaining a nutritious diet is crucial for staying healthy and enjoying life to the fullest. Good nutrition helps keep our muscles and bones strong and our brains functioning optimally. Despite this, approximately 30% of people aged 60 or over who live independently are at risk of malnutrition.

Healthy Eating for Over 60s

As we age, our caloric needs decrease, but our requirement for certain nutrients, such as protein, increases. Only one in twelve older Australians consumes enough fruits and vegetables.

The CSIRO recommends that older adults focus on consuming fewer kilojoules while ensuring adequate nutrient intake, particularly protein. According to Professor Emerita Jennie Brand-Miller, Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Sydney, a modestly higher protein intake, around 25% of daily consumption, is ideal. This translates to about 90 grams of protein daily, along with 45% of calories coming from carbohydrates. A higher protein and low GI diet not only supports weight management and muscle retention but also reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, which can accelerate aging. For more detailed information, visit the CSIRO’s guide on healthy eating for older adults.

You might notice that your loved one is either gaining or losing weight or their blood tests indicate nutrient deficiencies. This may be due to the challenges of shopping and cooking for themselves. At Home Care Assistance Sydney East, our Aged Care Professionals are skilled in assisting those they care for in maintaining a healthy diet.

We’ve put together this guide to help your loved ones eat well this winter.

  • Meal Planning

Meal plans can simplify decision-making about what to eat and make shopping easier. Plan meals with your loved one in advance and ensure the necessary ingredients are on the shopping list. Keep the meals interesting and manageable for your loved one to prepare.

  • Grocery Shop Together

Assist your loved one by taking them shopping (don’t forget your meal plan shopping list) or arranging a home delivery of groceries. Having the right food at home makes preparing healthy meals easier.

  • Cook Together

Cooking together not only lightens their load but ensures they have healthy food to eat. It also provides precious time together doing something enjoyable. Make it a regular activity that you both look forward to.

  • Prep and Drop Off Meals

If cooking together isn’t practical, consider making extra portions of your meals and dropping them off to your loved one. This is particularly useful if the meals can be frozen. A top tip is to separate the meals into single portions before freezing, making them easy to heat up. Casseroles, spaghetti bolognese, and soups are great for this.

  • Engage with Professional Carers

If your loved one is losing weight or not eating well despite your assistance, it may be time to seek additional support. In-home aged care can be tailored to their needs and include help with shopping and meal preparation. At Home Care Assistance Sydney East, our Care Professionals often assist with meal preparation, tailoring meals to dietary requirements and personal preferences.

Eating well is essential for staying healthy. If your loved one is struggling with their diet, there are ways to support them, such as cooking together or arranging grocery deliveries. If more help is needed, professional home care services, like those offered by Home Care Assistance Sydney East, can provide the necessary support.

Support from an in-home care agency like Home Care Assistance Sydney East can significantly enhance your quality of life while living independently at home. For more information, contact our team today.

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