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Food For Thought: The Importance of Nutrition

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Receiving the correct nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone, but especially for your elderly loved ones. Eating a well-balanced diet can reduce the risk of diseases, prevent illnesses, and boost energy levels. Having increased energy is essential to your daily life and routine, particularly for those living in senior care homes. As we get older, our bodies start to have different nutritional needs to stay strong and healthy compared to when we were younger. At Harmony Senior Services, we are committed to incorporating the right amount of nutrients into all of our dining options in each of our communities. 

Dietary Fiber

Eating fiber-rich foods has many health benefits for your elderly loved ones, including normalizing bowel movements and lowering cholesterol levels. Men 51 and older should have at least 30 grams of fiber a day and women 51 and older should have at least 21 grams a day. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are all examples of fiber-rich foods that we offer at our senior care homes.

Protein
Protein is essential for seniors to build and maintain muscle mass. Older adults often do not eat enough protein- especially those 71 and older. For those living in retirement apartment homes, it is important to keep their diets correctly supplemented so they do not risk malnutrition. It is important to remind your loved ones in care homes to incorporate meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or beans into their diets in order to receive their daily protein needs. These sources also provide additional nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B12, and calcium. At Harmony, our chefs prepare meals every day, filled with plenty of protein, flavor, and other necessary nutritional values!

Calcium
Calcium is needed to help maintain strong bones for elderly individuals. Research has shown that receiving the right amount of calcium can reduce the risk of bone fractures, osteoporosis, and diabetes. When we think of calcium, we usually first think of a big glass of milk. However, there are other delicious ways our dining plans can incorporate calcium into the meals for our senior living residents! Yogurt, beans, almonds, and leafy greens are all high in calcium.  

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids could be beneficial in restoring and maintaining cognitive performance and brain function. Omega-3 is found in fish and fish oil supplements which is an easy addition to our residents’ weekly diets. Studies show that it can help reduce the risk of dementia by improving heart and brain health. Omega-3 also has great health benefits for seniors with heart disease and joint pain. For those living in our senior living communities, we can ensure that residents are receiving the correct amount of fatty acids to avoid their risk of cognitive decline. 

Potassium
Getting enough potassium in your diet is another nutrient we keep a close eye on at Harmony for our senior residents. Fruits, vegetables, beans and low-fat dairy products are all great sources of potassium! Did you know that consuming enough potassium along with limiting your sodium, may lower your loved ones risk of high blood pressure? At Harmony, all of our senior care homes place a strong focus on the nutrients and ingredients we use in our dining programs to best support the needs of our residents. 

At Harmony Senior Services, our meal plans are more than just food. Our Reflections Dining Services Program is designed to enhance each resident’s dining experience in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Our communities promote good nutrition with every menu and put a focus on local specialties. We always have a Week At a Glance Menu and an Always Available Menu for our memory care residents to ensure they are happy with the food choices we provide. Eating healthy meals with the correct nutrition can help make every bite count, no matter their age. At Harmony Senior Services, we provide each resident with the same care and nutrition we would our own family. 

Sources Used:

https://www.seniorsguide.com/senior-health/increasing-fiber-for-constipation-relief/
https://www.seniorsguide.com/senior-health/5-calcium-rich-foods-and-tips-for-use/
https://www.seniorsguide.com/senior-health/10-foods-that-protect-brain-function/
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/risk-factors-and-prevention/omega-3-and-dementia
https://health.gov/news/202107/nutrition-we-age-healthy-eating-dietary-guidelines

 

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