Whether it's because of poorly fitting dentures or an altered taste, malnutrition is a serious issue for the elderly. If your senior family member isn't getting the right nutrition, it can lead to a weakened immune system, increased risk of infections, and other health problems. Here is some advice on how to help your senior loved one prevent malnutrition:
Add Spices to Foods
As people age, their taste buds can change and certain foods don't taste good anymore. If your senior loved one has lost his sense of taste, he may not have much of an appetite. You can make food taste better for your loved one by adding different spices, such as cumin, basil, and lemon pepper.
Get Your Loved One to Exercise
Regular physical activity has so many benefits, including increasing appetite. Talk to your elderly loved one about the advantages of exercise and help him develop a fitness routine. In general, it's a good idea to choose low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming and yoga, for your senior family member. These exercises are easy on the joints and will still benefit your loved one's health.
Include Healthy Fats in Your Loved One's Diet
Adding healthy fats to your senior family member's meals is another great way to prevent malnutrition. For example, you can add a sliced avocado to his sandwich or put walnuts in his oatmeal.
Provide Healthy Snacks
If you don't think your loved one is getting enough calories from his meals, it may be helpful to provide a couple of snacks throughout the day. However, stay away from chips and other junk food snacks, as they provide no nutritional value. Almonds, apple wedges, and boiled eggs are much better snack choices.
Invite Your Loved One Over for Dinner
Eating becomes much less enjoyable if you have to do it alone all the time. Get your senior family member excited about food again by inviting him over for dinner at least once a week. If your loved one eats a wholesome meal with people he cares about, he may find more pleasure in eating.
Following these helpful tips can help your senior family member avoid malnutrition and stay healthy. However, if your elderly loved one is still losing weight and not getting enough nutrition, it may be time to consider a nursing home. If your family member lives in a nursing home, healthcare professionals will be around all the time to make sure he gets the proper nutrition.