Ageing is an inevitable part of life that each one of us has to go through. While ageing maybe beyond our control, healthy ageing is a conscious choice one can make by inculcating a healthy diet, along with an active lifestyle.
Each individual, especially senior citizens, requires a specific approach to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, the basics largely remain the same. Small and simple adjustments can go a long way in helping seniors build a healthier eating pattern and lead a better life.
Senior living and nutrition: The impact of poor nutrition on senior living
As seniors age, they become more susceptible to chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and osteoporosis. The lack of a nutritious and well-balanced diet can trigger these chronic health problems and cause a significant impact on their health.
Additionally, the medications prescribed to control the impact and potential risk of these health problems affect the appetite of seniors. This results in food restrictions as some of these medications react when mixed with certain foods. Dietary changes can keep these levels in check.
Various studies conducted in India reported that more than 50% of India's elderly population are suffering from malnutrition and over 90% consume less than the recommended intake. Malnutrition in senior citizens can have a significant impact on their mental and physical wellbeing, making them frail, resulting in falls, slowing down wound healing, and increasing the risk of hospitalisation.
Doctors recommend that seniors must make necessary changes to their diet, to help manage various health conditions or reduce the risk of developing them. A wholesome diet is also needed to maintain muscle, reduce sodium intake, and get enough key vitamins and minerals.
The benefits of a well-balanced diet for seniors
As people grow older, their activity levels come down, reducing the number of calories utilised by the body. To have a healthy and functioning system, calorie intake must be monitored. A well-balanced diet ensures seniors get all essential nutrients, maintain a healthy weight, and stay active.
Healthy eating tips for seniors
• A senior-friendly diet has the right mix of nutrient-rich foods like lean proteins, low-fat dairy, veggies, and whole grains. It also avoids foods that have high quantities of processed sugars, trans and saturated fats, and salt. This helps meet the daily nutritional requirements, avoid any severe health implications, and keep any existing health conditions in check.
• Drinking fluids at regular intervals keeps them hydrated, aids digestion and nutrient absorption. The required water intake can be achieved through the consumption of juices, tea, and water-rich fruits.
• For a healthy digestive system, fibre is another essential part of the diet. It prevents problems like constipation, and soluble fibres help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Good sources of daily natural fibre for senior citizens come from fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, oats, nuts, and seeds.
• Keeping a check on bone density is critical. Calcium-rich foods like dairy products and leafy greens help strengthen the bones and avoid severe consequences like fractures and osteoporosis.
• Some elderly folks who are left with limited food options due to ongoing medical conditions, may find it hard to absorb the required nutrients from their daily diet. Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin-B12, and Vitamin D are some vitamins and minerals that are commonly found to be poorly consumed by senior citizens. Taking the right supplements keeps all levels in check and ensures the body gets the required numbers.
A happy mind equals a happy body. Being physically and socially active, and having meals with close family and friends can make mealtime extremely enjoyable for seniors. This turns it into something they look forward to and not just a task to be ticked off for the day.
How senior living homes in India cater to specific nutritional needs
Antara senior living residences help geriatrics lead an active and healthy life by catering to all senior-specific needs. At Antara, senior luxury living is the norm, with special attention given to senior-specific features for holistic well-being. From the carefully crafted residences to the state-of-the-art club and 24/7 resident services team, our comprehensive range of services focuses on all the factors that enhance the life of seniors.
We have a dedicated team that focuses on our residents’ nutrition and our inhouse nutritionists ensure every resident maintains a balanced diet.
• Tailored diet plans curated based on individual needs
• Freshly prepared meals served on time, reducing the pressure of meal preparation
• On-site health and wellness consultations with a range of specialists like general physicians, nutritionists, dieticians, and geriatrics
• Personalised wellness programmes designed by certified wellness counsellors
• On-site nutritionist services for creating specialised meals, as per the prescribed diet plans
• Multiple cuisine spaces, cafes, and a 40+ member F&B team headed by an executive chef to deliver quality, variety, and healthy food
• Dedicated yoga and fitness instructors to ensure seniors lead an active life.
That’s not all. Antara provides the flexibility to help residents organise events for groups of various sizes, and special menus are custom created for occasions. The aim is to create a community which encourages the idea of active ageing. We provide seniors with an environment where they feel at home and live life on their own terms, in the company of like-minded people.
For more information on Senior Living Residences, you can reach us on +91 96430 00014.