As we age, our bodies change, and we find it more challenging to maintain proper nutrition. Now, with an aging population in America and more people living longer than ever before, we need to provide the best possible care for older adults in independent living in Houston. This includes encouraging them to eat well and keep their weight up. Here are some ways that senior-friendly independent living communities can help with this important health issue:
Encouraging a Healthy Lifestyle
Even if you are living independently and appear to be maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to eat well and ensure your appetite is intact. The first step in this process should be looking at what you have been eating lately. If you notice that you are not eating enough calories or not eating any healthy foods, it might be time for some change.
You can also manage your appetite by doing some meal prep. Cook a meal or pack a healthy lunch for work. Slicing up some fruit after breakfast or packing a few snacks in advance might go a long way towards making sure you don’t skip meals out of hunger or forget about them altogether because you were too busy getting ready for the day ahead.
Proper Nutrition Education
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for older adults experiencing sudden weight loss. A lack of energy and other symptoms can be linked to poor nutrition, so it’s good to get professional help finding the right foods to eat. Your dietitian should have recommendations on how much protein, calcium, and vitamin D you should consume daily. They may also suggest herbal supplements if you are missing certain nutrients that can be hard to find in food sources alone (like vitamin B-12).
Your dietitian also needs to know what foods you prefer so they can recommend recipes with those ingredients.
Social Opportunities That Encourage Eating
Social opportunities that encourage eating are critical to maintaining a healthy weight and health. People who live alone often lose the motivation to eat well. They may skip meals or grab fast food because they don’t have someone to talk to while eating. This can lead to weight loss or weight gain over time, depending on your diet choices and where you live (you might be more likely to live in an area where food options are limited). However, if you’re living with other people who like to cook healthy foods and eat together regularly, the chances of staying motivated are much higher.
Nutritious Meals are Served Daily in an On-Site Dining Room
Most independent living communities offer a daily meal in the dining room. The meals are prepared and served by a team, including chefs and servers. Menus typically include various healthy choices like grilled chicken or salad. Some communities also offer vegetarian options for those who prefer it. This means you’re sure to find options that appeal to your taste buds, whether it’s a favorite dish from childhood or something new you’ve never tried.