The elderly, who are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, may have a hard time getting all the nutrients required for a balanced diet. If you take care of an elderly parent or grandparent there are plenty of steps you can take to help them get adequate nutrition as they get older.

Getting the proper nutrition is important for people of all ages but eating right often becomes difficult for seniors. The elderly, who are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, may have a hard time getting all the nutrients required for a balanced diet. Malnutrition often presents itself as weight loss, disorientation, and lightheadedness and is often mistaken for illness or disease. If you take care of an elderly parent or grandparent there are plenty of steps you can take to help them get adequate nutrition as they get older.

The best way to find out why your loved one is not eating well is to pay attention and ask them questions. Be encouraging of honesty and openness and reassure them that they are not a burden to you or anyone else in your family. Remind them that they are important to you and that you are there to take care of them. Some of the possible causes of poor nutrition include a decrease in sensitivity of the senses of smell and taste. This affects their ability to taste and enjoy food making them less likely to eat food.

Another cause is side effects of medications which sometimes reduce appetite, make food taste strangely, or cause nausea. Many seniors are also on fixed or limited incomes and out of worry for money, they may cut back on grocery expenses or eat less-nutritious foods in favor of expensive nutritious food. Seniors also experience physical difficulties as they become frailer with age and deal with arthritis and fibromyalgia. Simple tasks like peeling fruit or standing for a long time to cook a meal become too challenging.

Here are some practical tips to ensure that your elderly senior is getting proper nutrition. Offer them nutritionally dense foods because many seniors don’t eat as much as they should. The food they do eat should be as nutritious as possible:

Offer whole and unprocessed foods that are high in calories like healthy fats like nut butters, nuts, and olive oil, whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole grain cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, and protein-rich beans, legumes, and dairy products.

Make food that is aromatic and flavorful. As elderly people’s senses become dulled with age, it is important to make foods that smell strongly delicious in order to stimulate their appetite. You can intensity flavors with herbs, marinades, dressings, and sauces. Combine textures such as yogurt with granola and switch between a variety of foods during one meal to keep food interesting.

Make eating a family occasion. Depressed seniors who feel lonely and isolated are less likely to take the time to sit down to eat a healthy meal. Sit down with the whole family or invite them over on a regular basis. When mealtime becomes an interesting and fun occasion, seniors are more likely to eat and more likely to enjoy what they are eating.

Promote healthy snacks in between meals. Many seniors don’t enjoy large meals so an alternative solution is to plan for several mini-meals throughout the day. Make the meals nutritionally dense with many fruits, vegetablesHealth Fitness Articles, and whole grains. Cut back on high sodium meals and food with high saturated fat content.

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On July 18th, Clint Bolser (Bridges Division President) presented a white paper on the Elimination of Subminimum Wage on behalf of CEO @jonburlison. Learn more about this topic on the Bridges blog by clicking the link in our bio!Did you know that Jonathon Burlison, CEO of Bridges US and Bridges of Indiana, serves on the Task Force for Assessment of Services and Supports for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities? The Task Force was established in 2017 and serves to, “prepare a comprehensive plan for implementation of community-based services provided to people with intellectual and other disabilities.” Since November 2017, members have been working on reviewing essential and innovative topics such as employment and community living expansion. Over the past several months, Jon presented white papers and recommendations on Shared Living, Tying Funding to Individuals, Support for Driverless Automobile Technology Legislation, and Elimination of Subminimum Wage. Each week, Bridges is excited to share the Taskforce’s progress and initiatives for the future of services. For additional information, recordings of meetings, and how you can attend, please visit https://www.in.gov/fssa/ddrs/5455.htmA little #MondayMotivation!Congrats to Jen, one of our House Supervisors in Lafayette, Indiana who became a new grandmother last night to a baby girl, Royalty. Here is her CSFS Mirissa delivering some gifts to her at work today. Jen does a great job supporting Patrick, Doug, Josh, Nancy, Kenny and Thomas among others. Jen is a valuable and important part of our team!Today in Terre Haute, Bridges of Indiana celebrated our Direct Support Professionals. They joined us for pizza at the office and we used the opportunity to say thank you for doing great work! #bridgesus #directsupportprofessionals #thankyou #weloveourstaffBridges #directsupportprofessionals celebrated #independenceday with the people we serve in #Indiana, #Kentucky, #Virginia, #Colorado, #Wyoming and #Montana.  Here, DSP Mindy Johnson celebrates with Bradley Lain!#us_bridges is absolutely #loving our #communityday outings with our teens! They LOVE them too. Last week, the kids spent time at Pendleton Falls Park, #hiking at the #playground , wading in the water and then finished the day talking about bullying and other topics relevant to them. The kids were also so attentive to an #artist they met while at the Park and they listened carefully to what he shared. He encouraged them to have an outlet...he uses #art and gave examples, including being a part of a group and #blogging.  The kids are really bonding and enjoying their time together. #disabilityawareness#us_bridges #advocacy #disabilityawareness #disabilityrights #disabilitysupport We are the land of the free, we are the home of the brave. Bridges wishes you a happy, safe and memorable Independence Day. Bridges.us, USBridges Facebook and Twitter.#us_bridges #columbusindiana client Bradley Lain makes #pillows The pillows are all #handmade and filled with pine shavings. We are happy to share these pictures with you because Bradley would like to #growbusiness. If you are interested in one of Bradley’s pillows, you may contact:

mariahgentry@bridges.us
jenniferwells@bridges.us
or brandonmorris@bridges.us