Elderly Nutrition

6th March 2017

5 Tips for Elderly Nutrition

Malnutrition, the deficiency of protein, calories, minerals or vitamins, in people above the age of 65 is currently estimated at 35%. A wholesome diet is important for living longer and stronger, sharpening your mind, and feeling better and more energised.

Root Causes

  1. As you get older you tend to eat less.
  2. Your body’s ability to absorb nutrients becomes less efficient with age so it can be harder to get all the necessary nutrients for good health.
  3. Loneliness and depression affect your diet to a great extent and can lead to poor eating habits and malnutrition. 

Tips to Improve Nutrition

1. Consume more Vitamin D

Your skin’s ability to produce vitamin D decreases with age, leading to poor bone health and more falls as a direct result. Therefore, doctors recommended that you take supplements (107g of vitamin D) daily and consume foods that are high in vitamin D (for instance, oily fish).

2. Avoid Salt and Sugar

High intakes of sodium (salt), fat and sugar are linked to high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney d which is a major risk factor for cognitive decline and stroke. Choose wholegrains as your main form of carbohydrates, eat an abundance of fruits, vegetables, long chain omega-3 fatty acids (predominantly from oily fish) and not too much salt - this offers significant protection against Cardiovascular Diseases.

3. Drink More Liquids

As you get older, your body is less able to conserve water and your perception of thirst becomes less sensitive. As a result, you are more likely to be dehydrated without realising. Dehydration can result in drowsiness and confusion. Therefore, it is important to stay hydrated and drink liquids (water, tea, coffee, juice) even if you don’t feel thirsty.

4. Make Smoothies

Consuming the prescribed 5 fruits and vegetables a day can be difficult, 70% of adults over 65 fail to do so. To ensure that you do - make breakfast smoothies. Click here for recipes!

5. The following suggestions may also be helpful for ensuring you are getting adequate amounts of nutrition:

  • Multivitamin supplements are highly recommended for the elderly, especially in those whose daily caloric intake is less than 1500 kcal/day.

  • Investigate body weight losses of 4% or more immediately.  

  • Start taking nutritional supplements. 

  • Calcium and vitamin D supplementation have been shown to reduce hip fracture rates and are recommended for patients over 65 years of age.

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