The Guide to Healthy Living for Seniors

For seniors, the most important thing is to stay healthy, active, and engaged in life. As aging progresses, it can feel more difficult to make healthy food choices and stay active on a regular basis. When it comes to healthy living for seniors, assisted living facilities such as Integrity Senior Placement can help with activity as well as food selection.

If you or a loved one is looking to improve their quality of life, these are a few ways to implement healthy living for seniors with food and activity.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are important for anyone at any age, but they’re especially important for seniors. After age 50, many people have a significant decline in how much fruit and vegetables that they consume.

The American Heart Association recommends that older adults eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help alleviate high blood pressure. It can also help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

There is a variety of fruit and vegetables that are important for seniors to consume. Leafy greens are among the best to eat as often as possible. They are high in fiber and have a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can help keep your seniors healthy.

Consider adding a variety of options to a senior’s diet, including apples, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, celery, leafy greens, and bananas.

Incorporate Extra Fiber

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that adults over 50 years of age get 21 to 50 grams of fiber each day. Men require more fiber while women can need a little less in their diet.

All seniors need fiber in their diet. It comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Both are important to seniors for several reasons.

First, it helps to alleviate issues such as constipation. Fiber is important because it helps to keep the digestive system healthy. It also keeps the digestive tract clean and healthy.

Where can you find fiber-rich foods for aging loved ones? Fiber is found in whole grains, as well as foods such as applesauce. Whole grain cereal also serves as a fiber source.

Fruits and vegetables such as beans, peas, and corn are also excellent sources of fiber. Consuming more fruits and vegetables check the box for vitamins and minerals as well as fiber intake.

Read Nutrition Labels

Paying attention to nutrition labels can help ensure that any senior stays on a healthy diet track.

Reading the nutrition label can shed light on the healthiest options for yourself or your loved one. You may also discover that some foods that you believed to be healthy or actually not the best choice.

What are the most important attrition values to focus on for a senior? It depends on the specific medical situation of each senior. Overweight seniors should be careful to not consume too many calories, especially if they are inactive.

However, some seniors are underweight and require more calories. They can also benefit from more fat and carbohydrates for a week.

Of course, even if a senior does need to put on weight, this doesn’t need to be achieved in an unhealthy approach. You can choose foods that are high in fat calories but are not necessarily unhealthy. For example, all natural peanut butter or avocado can provide the fact that The senior may need.

The best course of action is to choose foods that are as fresh as possible. This will help you make sure there are no unnecessary additives such as high sodium or sugar intake, which we will talk about next.

Keep Sodium and Sugar to Spare 

Another very important element of nutritional labels is sodium and sugar. Both of these intakes have an effect on weight, health conditions, and even mental health.

It’s important to maintain a diet that is moderate to low in sodium. Adding excess salt composes health risks and water retention. Meanwhile, too much sodium is also bad for the heart. If a senior has a heart condition, it is even more important to stay away from sodium.

Furthermore, sodium is also linked to high blood pressure which can ultimately result in heart failure.

Meanwhile, sugar is a substantial element to keep in mind while you read nutritional labels. Unfortunately, sugar is in many of the foods that we eat. It is even more complicated because sugar labels and ingredients can be worded differently, such as Stevia which is a sugar alternative.

Think about a diet soda. While this might sound like it’s a sugar-free choice, it still contains a type of sugar alcohol that can cause digestive problems, including diarrhea and stomach cramps.

Just like sodium, it is best to try to keep sugar intake low. Sugar is also linked to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Consume Lean Proteins

Are you incorporating lean proteins into your diet? Lean pro trains are also important for seniors. They are low in fat but help support muscle health, which is critical for aging. 

Lean proteins are found in foods such as chicken and turkey. This ranges from buying a whole chicken or turkey, or opting for deli meat. However, if you choose to eat deli meat, make sure that you select a low sodium option.

You can also consider using ground chicken and ground turkey in a variety of creative ways. They can be used to make burgers, taco salad, or even added to lasagna. This is a great substitute for high-fat ground beef.

Meanwhile, don’t forget that fish is a great source of lean protein as well. There is a minimal amount of calories when a senior will consume fish such as salmon or tilapia. Fish can be a main dish once or twice a week. Serve with cooked broccoli or asparagus for an added portion of vegetables.

Stay Hydrated

Like everybody else, it is important to stay hydrated no matter the weather or season. Water is the most abundant substance in the human body, comprising about 60% of total body weight. It is necessary for maintaining a healthy body, and water is vital for the proper functioning of all organs.

For seniors, dehydration can be a major health concern. It is estimated that around 40% of seniors are under hydrated, and this is usually due to insufficient fluid intake or increased fluid loss.

Dehydration also leads to a number of serious health risks, including kidney failure, compromised immune system, and cognitive impairment.

Are you worried that a senior you love may be at risk for dehydration? The most common signs of dehydration in seniors include dry skin and lips, dry mouth, sunken eyes, dizziness, confusion.

How much fluid should seniors drink each day? The recommended daily intake of water for seniors is about 2.5 liters, or about 10 cups of water each day.

Avoid Processed Food

When in doubt, it’s best to avoid processed foods. However, sometimes seniors need the most convenient option available. For example, consuming canned vegetables is better than consuming no rush at all.

The best choice is to focus on the healthiest alternatives available. If a senior wants to eat corn, consider frozen corn instead of canned. This is because canned food typically is high in salt, and as we established, it’s important to keep sodium intake well.

Generally, frozen foods are always a better option than canned. However, stick to fresh foods whenever the option is available.

Exercise And Movement Activities For Seniors

As we age, our joints, muscles, and bones become weaker. But this doesn’t mean that seniors can’t get the physical activity that is beneficial to their body and mind!

For seniors, it’s all about the type of exercise and the intensity of the activity.  Physical activity does not have to be a difficult or high-impact activity. Some seniors can benefit from activities such as gardening.

Walking is also a tremendous exercise. If the senior is able to walk without pain and discomfort, this can lead to many health benefits including weight loss, weight maintenance, and a general sense of well-being.

Remember that exercise can help slow down the clock when it comes to aging seniors. It supports bone and joint health and it can even help seniors to help live independently. 

What can seniors do to get more physical activity in their lives? Consider the following:

Start with a warmup. This may include marching in place. The idea is to gently increase the heart rate and prepare for aerobic activity.

Next, choose a moderate or vigorous activity. Walking is a good choice for most older adults. There are also seated exercises that require less impact, such as shadowboxing. Swimming and water aerobics are also excellent forms of low-impact exercise. 

Seniors need about 2.5 hours of exercise each week, or roughly 30 minutes a day. When the workout is complete, a cool down should be incorporated to help lower the heart rate.

Before beginning any physical activity, be sure to consult a doctor or health care provider about any medical conditions.

Get Help with Healthy Living for Seniors

If you’re concerned about yourself or a senior in your life, Integrity Senior Placement can help with in-home services and beyond. Please contact us to get started!

 

What People Are Saying

  • Integrity Placement exceeded our expectations. We called with an urgent need to relocate our 88 year old mother with advanced Parkinson’s disease, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and a heart condition to a safe, capable and conducive environment. Having changed ownership and management, her then current facility had dramatically declined, replaced administration with unethical leadership, and become an elder-care warehouse. David listened to our list of needs, our experiences, and our hopes. Within a week Integrity Placement had researched potential fits, contacted AND prepared several to address our needs, guided us through on-site reviews, and helped us walk through the decision process. Every alternative we visited was exceptional and prepared to address our specific financial and medical needs. We found a match a could not be happier or more relieved.

    - Steven F( Phoenix Arizona, Memory Care Placement )
  • Reina is truly our guardian angel. Fortunately, she was referred to me to help find a placement for my brother who was being discharged from a north Scottsdale facility at a moments notice. Having to deal with a facility and insurance who don’t have your loved ones best interest at heart is maddening. I was panicked. Reina calmed my fears and was instrumental in finding a wonderful placement for Joe. She stayed connected with me during the entire process and continues to be a part of our lives. I appreciate her and the value of Integrity Placement and know this transition went as smoothly as it did because of Reina. Her dedication to her clients and families, her knowledge, honesty, patience, and professionalism are truly incredible. I can’t thank Reina enough for how much she helped our family.

    - Colleen D( North Scottsdale, Arizona Senior Placement )
  • The folks at Integrity Placement can be described in one word – AMAZING! They made an extremely difficult and overwhelming situation very easy for our family. We had to place our mom in an assisted living situation very quickly. Both David and Reina were awesome – extremely responsive and compassionate. David helped us find a place that is a wonderful new home for our mom. We would not hesitate to recommend their services to anyone!!

    - Toni M( Phoenix, AZ Assisted Living Placement )
  • Reina from Integrity Placement was excellent in guiding us through the process of appropriately placing our loved one in assisted living. She worked closely with the centers we toured, was punctual and valued our time commitments. Throughout this process she was efficient, accessible and professional. She truly cares about her clients and is very supportive. Thank you Reina!

    - Jeannie C.( Scottsdale, AZ Senior Assisted Living Placement )
  • David is amazing to work with. He made a huge difference in a very difficult time for our family. We were amazed at his efficiency in finding options for care homes and couldn’t have found such a wonderful option without his guidance. But most of all, his kindness and warmth was everything to us. We will remain forever grateful.

    - Anna & Jeff K( Phoenix, Arizona Assisted Living Placement )