Top 3 Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors
It’s a known fact that as we age, our body’s metabolism slows down and our body’s system gets weaker making us more prone to developing chronic diseases. This is why seniors, in particular, may need to change their diet especially when their diet is composed of unhealthy foods.
Physicians usually recommend that seniors should eat lots of fruits and vegetables as well as proteins and whole grains in order for them to maintain a healthy diet that could improve their overall health.
The American Dietetic Association has recommended that aside from a healthy diet, caregivers could also take part in boosting their loved one’s health by incorporating a few extra nutrients in their food.
1. Fix Them a Nutrient-Rich Meal
As a person ages, there is a need for them to decrease their calorie intake and increase their nutrient intake. Nutrients such as calcium, omega 3, and potassium are important to provide enough nutrients for your senior loved one. Here’s why:
As people grow older, they become more susceptible to vitamin D and calcium deficiency which could affect their bone health. This is why there is a need for older people to increase their calcium intake in order to maintain their bone strength. Aside from that, lack of calcium in the body could also help increase blood pressure.
According to the World Health Organization, people over the age of 50 are recommended to take at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day. This is more or less equal to 4 cups of orange juice, dairy milk, fortified non-dairy milk such as soy or almond. Kale, turnip greens, and other leafy vegetables are also known to be rich in calcium that is easily absorbed by the body.
If your loved one finds it challenging to incorporate this much calcium into their everyday meal, your physician may recommend calcium supplements should they need it.
Omega 3 fatty acids have shown that they are extremely helpful in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body which are one of the top causes of heart diseases, arthritis, and cancer. Canola oil, flaxseed oil, flaxseed, walnuts, and fish are great sources of the omega 3 nutrient. Seniors are recommended to have at least 2 meals per week that are rich in this nutrient. If there is a need to fill in the deficiency, your loved one’s doctor may recommend omega 3 supplements.
2. Reduce Sodium Intake
One of the most important thing that a caregiver can do to reduce the risk of hypertension in their senior loved one is to prepare a meal that has a low salt content. Many people don’t know that table salt only accounts for a small percentage of the overall sodium content in food.
Processed, frozen or any takeout foods are usually the type of food that have a high sodium content so it’s best for seniors to eat less or completely avoid these. Fresh frozen produce, on the other hand, along with dry beans, unsalted nuts, and nut butter, and whole grains like oats or brown rice are known to have less sodium content. As much as possible try to incorporate these types of food to your loved one’s diet.
3. Let them Drink Lots of Water
Older people are more at risk for dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. The main reason is that as a person ages, the body’s ability to conserve water is reduced and older people often don’t feel thirsty and when they do, the body’s fluid levels are already low. Even if that’s the case, they still need the same amount of liquids in their bodies which is why you need to make sure that they’re drinking water as often as they can even if they don’t feel thirsty.
You can tell if your loved one is properly hydrated or lacks water through the color of their urine. If their urine is clear or light-colored, they’re likely properly hydrated. However, if it appears cloudy or dark in color, then it’s a sure sign that they need to start drinking lots of fluids.
Helping Your Senior Loved One Switch to a Healthier Diet
Making the switch to a healthier diet can be quite challenging for most people – especially seniors since they have become stuck to the habit. Most people are not usually open to changes. This statement holds true for the seniors which is why it’s important to make gradual changes.
There are times when your senior loved one will resist making dietary changes even if the doctor says so. It’s especially common among dementia patients who sometimes insist on doing what they want. However, you may be able to do something about this by being creative.
Deciding to make dietary changes is essential especially as people get older. Giving your senior loved one a nutrient-rich meal as often as possible helps in preventing and managing chronic medical issues such as cardiovascular diseases. Eating healthy won’t only ensure that your loved one’s health is at its best but it will also ensure that they will spend the rest of their golden years with so much more energy.
At Vista Living Senior Care, our team helps seniors improve the quality of their life by making our purpose built 10 resident Luxury Senior Care Homes in the Phoenix Arcadia area something special. We focus on Care, Healthier Diet and an Activity Program Focused on Smiles & Laughter.
Sit and Be FIT exercises start our days and attendance is impressive with no one showing up late.
We urge you to consider Vista Living Senior Care for your loved one, please schedule a tour and learn how we can help. We know we have something special. Let us show you.
For more information please call Vista Living Senior Care at 480-456-1919 or Visit VistaLiving.net.
iBenefits of Exercise for Older Adults
Exercising for seniors is more than just adding years to your life, it’s all about adding more life to your years. You’ll look great, feel great, be more energetic, and have a greater sense of overall well-being, no matter your age.
Did you know that exercise is the number one contributor to having a longer life? And it doesn’t matter whether you’ve just started exercising during your senior years. To help you get started, it’s important to know about the physical and mental benefits of exercise.
- Improves balance, mobility, and flexibility. Strength, flexibility, and good posture are improved during exercise. Which greatly helps with coordination and balance – lowering the risk of falls and any fall-related injuries. Strength training is also known to prevent symptoms of various chronic illnesses, such as arthritis.
- Reduces the impact of different chronic diseases and illnesses. Regular physical activity is proven to improve the body’s immune system and digestive functioning. It helps lower the risk of dementia, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, certain cancers, and heart disease. It also promotes better blood pressure and bone density.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Your body’s metabolism slows down as you age. Which is why maintaining a healthy weight is more difficult. Regular physical exercise helps boost metabolism and build muscle mass, which helps in burning more calories.
Mental Health Benefits:
- Better brain health: While mentally stimulating activities such as Sudoku or word puzzles helps in keeping your brain running, exercise can do more wonders. It helps to prevent or slow down the progression of memory loss, dementia, and dementia by tapping into multitasking and creativity.
- Good night’s sleep. Adults should be able to sleep for at least six hours every night. Exercise helps you be able to sleep quickly, sleep more deeply, and wake up energetic and ready to face the day.
- Boosts self–confidence and mood. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins – a hormone that can help lessen feelings of depression, anxiety, or sadness. Therefore, exercising is a huge stress reliever and helps you feel more confident.
Most Common Myths about Exercise and Aging
Myth 1: I have too many aches and pains in my body. I’m too weak.
- Fact: Regular physical activity can actually help you manage aches and pains in your body. It also makes you stronger. Not only is there an improvement in strength, exercise also helps combat a decline in vitality that comes with age. The secret is to start slowly and gently.
Myth 2: It doesn’t matter if I exercise – I’m getting old anyway.
- Fact: Exercising promotes independence and makes you look and feel younger. It also reduces the chances of developing various health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Myth 3: It’s so frustrating. I’ll never be as agile as I once was.
- Fact: Your body changes as you age. Your hormones, bone density, metabolism, and muscle mass may change. That said, strength and performance level may inevitably decline as you get older. However, it doesn’t mean that you can no longer benefit from health improvements the sense of accomplishment you get after exercising. It’s best to start slow and to tailor your exercises to your lifestyle goals that are age-appropriate. Always remember that being sedentary can do more harm than good.
Myth 4: Exercising increases the risk of falling.
- Fact: As a matter of fact, exercising regularly can promote muscle building, improve strength and stamina, and prevent the loss of bone mass. As a result, your balance will improve, reducing the risk of falling. Every senior should incorporate balance exercises into their exercise regimen.
Myth 5: I won’t be able to exercise since I’m disabled.
- Fact: People with disabilities face certain challenges when it comes to physical activity. However, there are many exercises that tailor to their needs. They can lift weights, stretch, do chair aerobics, chair yoga, and chair Tai Chi to help improve range of motion, muscle tone, and flexibility, as well as their cardiovascular health. Many gyms or swimming pools may offer classes and other adaptive programs to people in wheelchairs.
Myth 6: I’m too old.
- Fact: You will never be too old to exercise. It will never be too late to get moving and improve your overall well-being. As a matter of fact, people who become active later in life reap more physical and mental benefits as opposed to younger people. If you haven’t tried exercising before or if you haven’t exercised in a long time, it’s best to start with gentle and simple exercises and build it up from there.
Exercising is for everyone. However, before you begin any form of exercise, be sure to consult your doctor or your healthcare team. They will most likely refer you to a reputable personal trainer or they may prescribe you with the right exercises for you.
How to Overcome Obstacles that Prevent You from Being Active
Did you notice your elderly loved one becoming more sedentary as they age? Many seniors tend to slow down as they grow older due to many different reasons, such as feelings of pain, weight changes, health problems, or worries about falling. Or maybe your elderly loved one thinks that exercising for seniors isn’t for them.
With everything that’s going on with our daily lives, it may be hard to maintain a regular exercise routine that you can stick to. And it won’t get easier as you get older due to body pain, health problems, and concerns regarding falling or other injuries.
If you think you’re too old to exercise or if you haven’t exercised before, you may feel that these are legitimate reasons to slow down and give up exercising altogether. However, these are exactly the reasons why you should get moving.
Keep in mind that whether you’re 9 or 90, it’s never too late to keep your body moving.
At Vista Living Senior Care and our team helps seniors improve the quality of their life by making our purpose built 10 resident Luxury Senior Care Homes in the Phoenix Arcadia area something special. Sit and Be FIT exercises start our days and attendance is impressive with no one showing up late.
We urge you to consider Vista Living Senior Care for your family, please schedule a tour, we know we have something special. Let us show you. For more information please call Vista Living Senior Care at 480-456-1919 or Visit VistaLiving.net.
Accidents in the home, time for a safety assessment
During these upcoming holidays we have the opportunity to visit with family and friends we may not have seen in awhile. If that lists includes seniors, it’s a great time to start a discussion of senior care. Make sure a visit to their homes includes a safety assessment to find hazards and avoid those painful senior accidents.
Recent surveys have shown over 65 percent of seniors’ homes have potential safety hazards, and almost half of accidents in the home are avoidable. The survey also found that 85 percent of seniors do not take steps to get rid of home hazards as they get older.
Periodic safety inspections is a must to alleviate hazards and senior accidents
Several years ago I was attempting to help a family move their mother out of her home and into the safe protected environment of our senior community. Her daughter brought Carol for a visit and she loved it there, made a couple friends and was looking forward to moving in. The next day I received the call from Carol’s daughter, Mom fell last night at home and won’t be able to move the next weekend as planned.
Several weeks later, Carol’s daughter called me to let me know that Carol was coming home and asked if I could meet the family there the next afternoon. It sounded like Carol was starting to feel better and was thinking about delaying the transition and wanted to stay in her home a bit longer.
Immediately upon arrival, I started to point out items to the family that were accidents waiting to happen. Each electrical extension cord is a trap, the throw rugs must go (hate them), and do we need to even talk about the stairs. Very sincere and nice family, it was decided Carol was moving tomorrow. While saying goodbye to all, I was at the front door and then we all heard a noise and then the scream. Yep, Carol fell again; I hate those throw rugs. Carol broke her hip and never was not able to move in.
Millions of seniors end up in the hospital every year in the U.S. because of falls and other accidents — roughly a third of all hospital visits for people over age 65. Many of these injuries happen at home and could have been prevented with some careful planning.
Common senior accident issues include tripping hazards, like throw rugs, storage that’s out of reach or a lack of grab bars to hold onto in the bathroom. Older people are not as steady on their feet, and could benefit from these small improvements in the home.
If you see a step stool in the house be concerned, very concerned.
But some of the senior accident hazards are a little less obvious. Clutter in general can be a problem for seniors, especially in hallways that make it hard to maneuver around with a walker. Pets have been know to bring down a senior by accident.
The problem is twofold: seniors are more susceptible to falling as they age, and they are more likely to be injured when they do fall. Many seniors may suffer from impaired vision, muscle atrophy, cognitive impairment, and balance issues, making it harder to maneuver around without falling. Seniors who have diabetes, arthritis or had a stroke are also at increased risk.
The family needs to discuss the current medications being taken – they also play a role! And seniors need to be aware that what they’re taking might make them unsteady on their feet. Multiple medications, specifically combinations of drugs, can cause seniors to experience dizziness and other side-effects that can cause a fall.
Many safety suggestions rely on family members to help make the house a safe place. It just makes it so much easier to get things done when family members are talking about solutions and getting a plan together to prevent senior accidents.
Vista Living Senior Care and our team helps seniors improve the quality of their life by making our purpose built 10 resident Luxury Senior Care Homes in the Phoenix Arcadia area something special.
We urge you to consider Vista Living Senior Care for your family, please schedule a tour, we know we have something special. Let us show you.
For more information please call Vista Living Senior Care at 480-456-1919 or Visit VistaLiving.net.
I remember being invited to visit with Maria and her visiting son Tony who was in town for their annual check in. He and the family lived back East in New York and were very worried that something could happen at anytime and they would not be able to help Maria.
The family was looking for a safe, protected environment for her; she was not sure. While we looked around her home, we noticed all the usual suspects of safety concerns including extension cords, throw rugs and steps. Maria looked very sedentary for someone in her 80’s but she did love to talk. Tony mentioned how quickly her health turned poorer this last year.
Asked about friends, all gone. Asked about physical activities, none. Asked about diet, frozen and fast food. Asked Tony to check out the fridge, some water and soda, the freezer had some frozen dinners and the rest was full of ice cream, vanilla ice cream Maria’s favorite.
The families next visit to Maria was at her new assisted living home. They could not believe the difference a healthier diet, social interaction and some activities can do. Maria has become more active and is a social butterfly, after all she does love to talk.
Tony and his family were lucky they saw the difference and needs Maria had and were able to do something before things got worse. With the holidays coming soon, many families will be visiting their senior loved ones for their annual or semi annual visits especially if they live out of the area. Here are some things to look out for and some great tips.
Anticipate and Respond to Elderly Emergencies
If you have a loved one who is a senior citizen, it’s natural to expect them to require additional medical help as time goes by. The senior population in the United States is living longer, thanks to advances in medical science, and this means that new challenges are facing elder care. Thankfully, keeping your elderly loved one safe and healthy is manageable, when you follow common sense and a few practical tips.
One of the most important things you can do to help your elderly loved one with their health care is to be informed.
• Go to doctor’s appointments with them
• Know status of your loved one’s health
• Stay alert as to whether they are suffering from memory problems
• Ask when was the last time they had theirs eyes or ears checked
• Keep note of their prescription drugs and:
• Any warnings or adverse interactions associated with them.
Check in Often
If your elderly loved one lives on his or her own, check in often and regularly. What could have been a simple fix may turn into a serious medical emergency:
Seniors who live alone may suffer from accidents, such as:
• Slips and falls
• Medication issues
• Dehydration issues
• Suffer from depression
• Create a phone call or visitation schedule
• If you don’t hear from them as planned, follow up immediately to see if they need emergency care.
• Every visit, look for signs of disorder, accidents waiting to happen
• Remove all extension cords when not needed
• Get rid of all throw rugs!!
• Review easy access to storage
• Check the fridge, is their diet balanced
Consider Professional Senior Care
If you are having difficulty balancing your life and elder care or aren’t able to live with or near your loved one, but you know that he or she needs additional help you cannot provide, consider elder care solutions such as in-home care or assisted living.
When considering these options, you will have to make sure that your loved one is on board and understands that the purpose behind hiring professional care is to ensure the senior’s safety and avoid medical emergencies.
If you do face a medical emergency or need help with senior care involving your elderly loved one, Vista Living Senior Care is located in the Phoenix Arcadia area, between Biltmore and Scottsdale, and our team has helped seniors improve the quality of their life by making our purpose built 10 resident luxury assisted living homes something special. We love what we do and it shows.
We urge you to consider Vista Living Senior Care for your family. We know we have something special. Let us show you. For more information please or to schedule a tour call Vista Living Senior Care at 602-456-1919, email info@VistaLiving.net or Visit Our Blog and subscribe.
Early in my career, before joining Vista Living Senior Care in Arcadia, I was fortunate to discover the importance of this question. For most children of aging parents this is the first question to ask yourself and will guide the process of finding the best options for their Senior Care.
Studies reveal that 25% of caregivers live with the elderly or disabled relative that he or she cares for. This arrangement can have many benefits, but there is a point in time when it can also begin to cause more expense, fatigue, heartache and stress, especially if your home has to go through a remodel for needed accommodations or modifications.
Take time to consider the following questions when deciding whether to be an in-home caregiver:
1. What kind of care will be needed?
It’s important to consider the person’s mental and physical condition, and any illnesses he or she may have, before you move him or her into your home.
However, moving parents out of their family home usually happens when there is some sort of health condition or crisis that acts as a catalyst for the transition. If this is the case, your family will be dealing with the person’s chronic illness, which will most likely get worse and eventually require round-the-clock care.
It’s important to think about the future senior care needs to determine whether a move into assisted living may be a better option.
2. Realistically, how much personal assistance and supervision can you provide?
Many families feel obligated, or even want, to bring their elderly loved ones into their home when their health declines. Many feel caring for an aging relative is a great way to give back some of the care, love and nurturing he or she may have given you.
But role-reversal can be challenging for everyone involved; not only for you, noone wants to be a burden and feel uncomfortable with you having to care for them.
Consider these other factors to determine whether the move is a good idea:
• Be realistic — You may consider speaking to your elderly relative’s doctor about his or her upcoming needs and determine whether you’re able to provide the level-of-assistance needed.
• Consider your schedule — Do you work? Do you have children? You need to consider whether you actually have time to watch someone who requires assistance. Do you have someone who can help you? There is no guilt in asking questions that you need to ask.
• Know your limits — If the person needs help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing and dressing, are you and your loved one comfortable with you performing these duties as caregiver? Do you feel your best, current option is hiring in-home aide or nurse until the need for more care makes it because necessary to have your loved one move into a senior care facility?
3. What’s your relationship like?
Do you get along well with your loved one or relative? You need to look at the history of your relationship and determine whether or not you can reside in the same house, let alone have you care for their needs.
If you can move past conflict easily and feel living together will only strengthen bonds without sacrificing your sanity in the process, the arrangement may work.
However, if you’ve never gotten along, putting yourself in close quarters probably isn’t a good idea, even if you feel obligated, you have to be realistic.
4. Can your home accommodate the person’s care needs today and in the future?
Often times, older adults with health problems can’t bathe or climb stairs easily unless grab bars are installed. Can you afford a renovation that may be involved, consider the following:
• Could you convert the living room or den into a bedroom easily?
• Is there a bathroom available on the floor the relative will be residing?
• Is the bathroom and hallway areas wheelchair accessible?
• What renovations will be needed, and is the cost worth it for both short-term and long-term health and senior care needs?
• Will everyone have a level of privacy they’re comfortable with?
5. How do your other family members really feel about the potential move-in?
You have to go with your gut when it comes to moving in your aging relative. Do you and your children feel excited about the potential move-in?
Does your spouse have a good relationship with the relative? How does he or she feel about the move-in? You want to make sure everyone is on-board with the decision and is prepared for potential sacrifices and responsibility. Consider meals, noise levels in the house and everyone’s preferences and styles. Can family members adapt to be compatible to accommodate multiple generations, in addition to possible care?
6. Will you have enough time to care for yourself?
If you’re working full time, you need to seriously consider whether you can handle the additional stress of having a dependent, older adult at home. Being a caregiver is hard work that many people don’t realize until they’re in the situation.
Many caregivers have lost or given up their jobs because they can’t juggle competing demands of work and taking care of an older adult. They are also prone to illness from exhaustion and stress if they’re not taking time for themselves. It’s important to replenish your own body, mind and spirit by having your own activities and time. You need to consider whether you can balance everything.
There are many support groups for caregivers, both in-person and online. It helps to realize you’re not alone in what you’re going through.
7. Your elderly loved one, what kind of social life will this arrangement offer them?
When a relative moves in with you, he or she may be leaving his or her own social network and friends. Not only that, it can be especially hard for some older people to adjust to a new environment, especially if they’re set in their ways.
Depression and loneliness from isolation could become an issue.
During your Senior Living career you have the pleasure of meeting many wonderful seniors and families, we still enjoy and recognize the reaction of a visiting family member or loved one commenting: she or he was in a hurry to have a meal with their friends.
Vista Living Senior Care believes a social life for seniors is very important and you’ll need to understand they can and may greatly benefit and thrive in an environment with friends their own age.
Families opt to move their aging loved one or relatives into assisted living — where there is 24-hour access to personal care, as well as nutrition and wellness services designed specifically for older adults. Seniors can enjoy social contact, security and support while still maintaining their independence.
If you’re still on the fence and struggling with the answer, then its down to 2 things: Care & Cost. Notice Care first, it’s only fair to ask, “Will someone else be able to provide the same level of care that I do?” Vista Living Senior Care Arcadia believes we can, and affordably.
We urge you to consider Vista Living Senior Care for your family. Please schedule a tour of one of our purpose built 10-resident Luxury Senior Care Communities in the Phoenix Arcadia area, between Scottsdale & Biltmore. We know we have something special. Let us show you.