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Nutrition For The Elderly - Geriatric Nutrition - Adapting Diet & Lifestyle For Changing Needs

Wednesday, January 12, 2011
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"I have trouble chewing." "Milk makes me feel bloated and gassy" "I am not hungry." "Food doesnʼt taste and smell the way it used to."

These phrases must sound familiar to people around the elderly. These are also few of the many causes of malnourishment and sickness amongst the elderly. Nutrition has an enormous impact in managing, delaying or preventing the onset of many chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and blood pressure.

A wide range of nutritional problems exist amongst the elderly, ranging from frank nutrient deficiencies to micro-nutrient imbalances A healthy and balanced diet, appropriate cooking methods, supplement of certain vitamins and minerals and a regular exercise routine goes a long way in ensuring a good quality of life.



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User Comments

14 December, 2011 | Pat | Reply

Pat My doctor offhandly remarked that at my age (one month short of 70) I need more oil in my diet. I've spent 69 years trying not to "overdo". What would be the purpose of the oil? Does it help ward off dementia? What foods should I be concentrating on.

15 December, 2011 | Poonam Vaswani | Reply

Poonam Vaswani Hello Pat,
The body needs a certain amount of oils/fats. Fats perform several vital functions in the body, like being a vehicle for fat soluble vitamins - A,D,E and K, providing lubrication, maintaining body temperature, skin and hair health, helping in synthesis of hormones etc. So, one should not cut down on oil/fat consumption drastically. It is of course important to avoid saturated fats, cholesterol rich foods and trans fats. One should concentrate on healthy sources of fats like fatty fish,avocados,seeds, walnuts, almonds, flaxseed, olive oil, canola and soyabean oil. These are beneficial in improving the lipid profile (thus prevent heart disease), prevent dementia and depression, are antiinflammatory (thus help with arthritis and joint pain) and help in maintaining healthy skin.

02 August, 2011 | Steve Joseph | Reply

Steve Joseph Hi and greetings,
I am hoping you can help,my girlfriend and I currently caring for her elderly father(93 yrs old).He has heart failure and the only thing keeping him alive is his pacemaker,as a result of his heart condition,his circulation to his feet are almost non exsistent, i.e. no pulse in his feet.He recently injured a toe and had to have the toe nail removed, now the wound won't heal.The doctors treating him decided to amputate the leg above the knee, and then later decide not to as he was too frail and also the wound responded to the anti-biotics that he received via a drip.
Please could you suggest a diet and the frequentcy of the diet as we are having trouble getting him to eat.
Many Thanks and God Bless
Steve Joseph.

19 January, 2011 | Parthasarathy | Reply

Parthasarathy Dear Madam I am around 75 yrs and I am a vegetarian. I find that I pass a lot of flatus (gas) and feel very uncomfortable on one hand and embarrassed on the other. What are the foods I need to avoid to reduce gas.I would be very grateful if you can help me.
Thank you

03 February, 2011 | vaishali s. (diet counsillor) | Reply

vaishali s. (diet counsillor) Sir, I would like to suggest some relief measures for your flatulance problem. The foods which you can avoid are potatoes, sago, cabbage, white refined flour, polished rice, black gram daal and fried snacks. Include more of citrus fruits, brown rice, fibre rich cereals and leafy vegetables. Avoid eating after 8.3o p.m. Have regular walks everyday.

03 February, 2011 | Mrinal | Reply

Mrinal Thank you Vaishali.
This is great advice.

13 January, 2011 | Bhuvaneshwaran | Reply

Bhuvaneshwaran I drink about 3-4 glasses of water a day, two cups of green tea, 1 or two cups of juice and 1 glass of buttermilk. Is this sufficient fluid and water intake for a 68 yr old male or do I require more. Please let me know.

12 January, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Like many elderly people if you do not drink much water, as you don't feel thirsty, see which one or combination works for drinking more water
• Welcome the day with a cup of warm water
• Drink a cup of water about ½ hour before meals.
• Drink a full glass of water when you take your medication. This is best for most medications, unless specified otherwise by your doctor
• If you go out carry a water bottle with you always and keep drinking/sipping regularly as you will realise how much you lose by perspiration and 1 cup after coming indoors

12 January, 2011 | Shastri | Reply

Shastri I am 73 yrs old and I am a vegetarian with Lactose Intolerance. I was told that I have B12 deficiency. So please tell me the B12 rich foods that I can include and how much of each, as milk, eggs and meat are not going to be included in my diet

13 January, 2011 | Poonam | Reply

Poonam Hello Mr Shastri,
Unfortunately, very few vegetarian foods contain Vitamin B12. Milk is one of them, but since you cannot tolerate milk, you could have enough yogurt/curd/cheese to make up for it. Since you are B12 deficient, you will need to either take supplements or injections to bring your B12 status to normal. The number of injections will depend on your current levels.

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Tags: Alzheimers & Nutrition, Anemia, Chronic Lifestyle Diseases, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition, Osteoporosis, Seniors Health


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