By Sheila Van Laeken, Food Service Director at Parkwood Heights
Aging is as much a state of mind as it is a physical condition. We need to care for ourselves in our younger years so that we can stay healthier in our older ones. With regard to nutritional status, later age people are sometimes more difficult to nourish than teenagers. At Parkwood Heights our main goal is to provide the utmost nutritionally balanced meals possible.
Many ageing problems, such as insomnia, anorexia, fatigue, depression, diminishing eyesight, hearing loss, fragile bones and fractures are a result of poor diets and nutritional deficiencies. Food insecurity is also a serious concern for the later age people, especially when they are still living at home. Sometimes meals are skipped if they are unable to shop or prepare meals for themselves.
Constipation, a common problem in the later age people, can be reduced or even eliminated with adequate fiber and water. Poor fluid intake amongst older people is also a common concern. Drinking enough water is crucial to good skin health, hydration and a vital part of just feeling good. Consumption of more water, herbal teas, juices and soups, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables are great sources of fluids in your diet.
Often their enthusiasm might be low for good nutrition, exercise or even life in general in the later age people. When the body is struggling it is difficult to “take out for a spin”. At Parkwood Height here is much encouragement and support for these folks. Sharing meals and visiting with other residents as well as family members who come to visit give a special meaning and encouragement for living.
Think of a few people in their 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. What do you think has led to their degeneration or to their health and vitality? What are you planning for your anti-aging program? Have you already begun? It’s never too late. Later age is a new life experience. By making necessary dietary adjustments, seniors can embrace this new phase of life and enjoy it to the fullest.