Why Does it Matter So Much What Your Aging Adult Eats?
You and your aging adult might both feel that as long as she’s eating something, it’s okay even if that food is processed or junk food. Unfortunately, nutrition matters way more than you both might believe. Here are just some of the reasons that paying attention to what your senior eats can be one of the most important tasks you perform.
Her Immune System Needs Fuel.
Your elderly family member’s immune system is what works so hard to keep her healthy. A properly-fueled immune system can regulate itself. If your aging adult isn’t getting the right nutritional balance, then her immune system is more likely to be sluggish, leaving her feeling run down and opening her up to infection and other illnesses.
Wounds Heal More Slowly.
It might go without saying that a compromised immune system would translate to slower wound healing, but it’s a little more than that. The skin is the human body’s biggest organ and it requires protein, fat, and carbohydrates in order to repair itself. Without the right nutrients, your elderly family member’s body can’t repair wounds as quickly as it should be able to. Combine that with a compromised immune system and that’s a recipe for big trouble.
She Can Lose Muscle Mass.
Proper nutrition also keeps your senior’s muscles in good condition, whether she works them out fully or not. When she’s not getting good nutrition, your elderly family member’s body starts to pillage from certain systems to keep itself going. One of the hardest hit systems is your senior’s muscles. Poor eating habits can deteriorate her muscles, even if she’s trying to exercise.
She Might End up Hospitalized.
The ultimate loss of independence for your aging adult would be to end up in the hospital. Poor nutrition is a great way for her to fast-track a trip to the hospital. If your senior is still feeling stubborn about changing her eating habits, talk to her about the very real possibility that she might end up hospitalized. She may surprise you with the rapid turnaround in her attitude toward eating right.
If your aging family member is having trouble cooking for herself and eating nutritious meals, consider hiring elder care providers to help with everything from meal preparation to dinner conversation.