Food is one of the most important aspects of care for the aged. People get weaker as they grow older. Alongside, there is a marked reduction in their immunity and resistance power. They lose their muscular strength and are prone to a number of musculoskeletal injuries. Bones get brittle due to the loss of calcium.
In order to avoid such problems, a proper diet is very important. Nutrients have to be served everyday and proper care has to be taken to include micro-nutrients in the diet. It has to be kept in mind that several elderly have week teeth that do not allow them to eat hard things. Care has to be taken to ensure that the right way of cooking is followed so that the food does not lose nutrients. Some of the best foods for the elderly are fish and white poultry, low fat skim milk, high fiber foods such as whole grains, cereals, fruits and vegetables and eggs without the yolk.
What should not be given?
Deep fries have to be avoided. High calorie and high sugar foods cannot be digested and leads to a number of problems. Also, avoid foods that are very spicy or salty. Some of the chemicals that have to be avoided are sodium nitrates, sodium phosphate, sodium benzoate sodium bicarbonate and monosodium glutarnate (MSG). MSG is present in all packed foods and chips. Always ensure that only fresh food is served and stale, processed, packed, frozen and pickled foods are avoided. Chilled food and water is not good since it hampers the digestion process and creates a sludge in the intestines that in turn, hampers bowel movement. Red meats, especially beef, have to be avoided.
Exercise is important for all ages and as long as the elderly have the strength and ability, even a short walk everyday is useful. If they are not in a position to walk, you can take them out in their wheelchairs. Fresh outdoor air is therapeutic for the mind and body rather than spending all their time indoors. Physiotherapy sessions and body messages are very useful in rejuvenating the body. Exercise also provides a boost to the metabolism and improves general health condition.
If there is one thing that can bring maximum benefits to the elderly, it is love. Elderly are like kids. They need love, affection and attention. Spend a couple of hours talking to them. Deal with them with patience and tolerance. Old age leads to hundreds of insecurities and love can bust such negative feelings.