Eating well always makes life better, and it’s important no matter what age you are. At The Heritage, we keep the dietary needs of our community members front-and-center. Getting older usually does include a variety of health issues, and by making good diet choices, you can mitigate discomfort and other troubles. Though we have dietary experts managing our diverse menu, we wanted to take some time to share the health issues we consider.
Health Considerations for Older Adults
We know that food can be a great ally for people at any point in life, but it becomes especially important the older you get. Here are health issues that commonly affect the elderly and the dietary tactics that can be used to mitigate them.
- Arthritis comes in several forms and is difficult to avoid as you get older. The pain can reduce your range of motion and limit your activity. Excessive weight can put undue pressure on inflamed weight-bearing joints like knees, hips, and ankles, so eating a balanced, healthy diet can make all the difference. Fish oils can also improve the discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis, so eating fish at least twice a week is a great idea.
- Bone fractures in the wrist, leg, and hip are quite common for the elderly, and many times, the troubles are due to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone density decrease that affects all the elderly, though women beyond menopause experience it the most intensely. The condition is stubborn because, once bones lose calcium, it is difficult to replace it. The best strategy is to prevent it from being lost in the first place!
- Several factors play into your body’s calcium situation, including exercise, sunlight, calcium, fluoride, and vitamin D. Milk products and fish with soft bones are good calcium sources, and if you are lactose intolerant, you’ll need to talk to our dietary specialist to make sure you’re getting the calcium you need. When it comes to vitamin D, the sun is your best source! Best of all, you only need a short period of sunlight per day (10-30 minutes) to give your body its required vitamin D. If you have to avoid the sun due to issues like previous skin cancer, you can get vitamin D from butter, milk, cheese, tuna, or even a supplement.
- Regular activity also plays a significant role in your bone health. It’s that whole theme of “Use it or lose it.” We include activities of different kinds in our daily schedule to ensure you have opportunities to keep moving and thriving.
- Keeping the digestive tract moving along is a key to health, especially for the elderly. Your best allies when it comes to preventing constipation are fluids and fiber. We’re talking wholegrain bread and cereals, lentils, beans, fruit, and vegetables. You will find that The Heritage’s menu is full of fiber-rich foods that are as delicious as they are good for you. We also ensure that our community members have water on-hand at all times so that they can stay hydrated.
Teeth and Gums
- Without healthy teeth and gums, it’s difficult to eat right and give your body the nutrients it needs. If you have ill-fitting dentures, sore gums, or missing teeth, you should let our staff know so we can give you nutritious, easy-to-chew foods. We also recommend you make an appointment with your dentist to get the issues taken care of. We can drive you to your appointment and back again!
Check Out Our Assisted Living Community
At The Heritage, we offer the very best assisted living lifestyle in New Jersey. Visit us for a tour and we’ll show you what you can expect!