Eating Obstacles For Seniors

As we get older our bodies change. We become more prone to illnesses. Our energy levels decrease. We recuperate more slowly. Our immune system grows weaker. Our mental alertness decreases.

All that can be remedied by having the right diet.

Unfortunately, older people face eating obstacles that may keep them from getting their nutritional requirements.

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes may be an eating obstacle for the elderly. For instance, a senior who has just lost a spouse may not know how to cook, may not feel like cooking for one, or may not like eating alone. Some seniors may experience financial set backs that may hinder them from getting a healthy, balanced diet.

Activity level

As we age, our activity level decreases naturally or perhaps due to medical and physical reasons. This reduced activity level results in weight gain that may have negative effects on seniors’ health.

Taste and appetite

Our sense of taste and smell decrease as we get older. This means you may be more inclined to season your food a lot more than before – and older people need a lot less salt than younger people do. Older people may also struggle with lack of appetite caused by lifestyle changes, loneliness, or a medical condition.

Health issues

Illnesses and medical conditions, plus the medications seniors take usually have a negative effect on appetite. What older people can do is to consult their doctor about what they can do to overcome the side effects of their medication or condition.

Digestion

Aging causes the body’s production of saliva and stomach acid to decrease. This means it is much harder for your body to process certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B6 & B12, and folic acid, which are essential in maintaining mental alertness, sharp memory, and good circulation.

Emotional factors

Loneliness and depression has a huge effect on an elderly person’s diet and appetite. For some, sadness and depression may lead to not eating, whereas in others, it may trigger overeating. For seniors whose diets are disrupted by emotional problems, you should consult your doctor or therapist.

Source: Helpguide.com