Nutrition for the Elderly

In adults, 65 years or older, certain factors and circumstances may affect nutritional needs, and so one is constantly looking for solutions and practical options to manage specific concerns.

Broadly classified, older adults can be grouped into 2 categories:

  • Those newly into retirement;
  • Those well into old age, possibly experiencing a decline in overall health, with increasing dependency.

Health risks, purely due to increase in age, do exist, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, pneumonia and bronchial infections, osteoporosis and subsequent falls and fractures, dementia, arthritis, anaemia and food intolerances, especially lactose –intolerance.

By the time one reaches an age well over 80 (and in those who have lead unhealthy lifestyles, over the age of 70), physiological changes such as weaker bones, decreased lean body mass, reduced absorption of essential nutrients, can occur. These result in subsequent health issues.

Malnutrition is a real concern in elderly people. This is due to causes such as chewing and swallowing problems, chronic illnesses (and chronic usage of certain drugs and medications), financial problems, living alone, physical / emotional difficulty in preparing healthy foods and meals, decreased absorption of nutrients, and decreased sensations of taste and smell.

Factors leading to improper nutrition in the elderly

  • Chronic invalidism
  • Food fads and fallacies
  • Lack of social, family support
  • Limited income
  • Loneliness
  • Mental disturbances
  • Poor dental health
  • Reduced activity
  • Social isolation

With all of the above in mind, a goal of nutritional care for those in their later years of life, is to help achieve healthful, purposeful and independent living. In addition, for those that have suffered illness, physical disability, socio-economic deprivation, or other handicap, further assistance may be required including nutritional support and rehabilitation.

NUTRITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Fewer calories (than younger adults)
  • Increased intake of protein (at least 20% of total calories)
  • Reduced intake of fats
  • Sufficient carbohydrates
  • Sufficient vitamins and minerals: specifically:
    • Vitamin D to help prevent fractures, osteoporosis, osteomalacia
    • Calcium to promote bone health
    • Vitamin C to encourage formation & maintenance of healthy tissue and to promote wound healing and powerful antioxidant action
    • Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid increase homocysteine levels (thus reduce heart disease) and improve and optimize nerve function
    • Iron promotes red blood cell production, where losses have occurred due to colon problems, anti-inflammatory drug intake, reduced dietary intake, prevents tiredness and lethargy; improves quality of life
  • Adequate water intake: 6-7 glasses/d
  • Sufficient fiber and roughage to prevent or treat constipation (a common problem)
  • Exercise

SOYA LIFE OFFERS A COST-EFFECTIVE RANGE OF PRODUCTS THAT MEETS THE NUTRITIONAL NEEDS OF OLDER ADULTS, ESPECIALLY WHERE PHYSICAL AND/OR EMOTIONAL LIMITATIONS EXIST.

PRODUCTS:

SOYA LIFE MILK

  • Soya milk ideal where there is lactose intolerance
  • Rich source of protein, energy and calcium
  • Can be used over porridge / cereal , and in tea/coffee, or on it’s own
  • Best used cold
  • Powder format, so no refrigeration is required (mixes easily with water)
  • The powder can be added to foods such as cereal, porridge, yoghurt, pureed fruit, custard etc. to fortify the protein content of the meal. (add 2Tbs to a serving of one of these food items).

SOYA LIFE MEAL REPLACEMENT DRINK

  • Fully balanced meal replacement for either or all of the main meals (breakfast, lunch or supper).
  • Can be used to supplement meals, where appetite is poor and inadequate food is eaten at a specific meal.
  • Useful as an in-between meal snack as well.
  • Provides all the essential minerals and vitamins in high doses, namely:
    • Calcium
    • Iron
    • Magnesium
    • Selenium
    • Zinc
    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamins B1, B2, , B3 , B6
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin D
  • Very tasty
  • Lactose and wheat free
  • Recommended as a functional food which will assist in managing / preventing heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, etc, due to it’s rich source of soya protein and soya fibre, both of which lower cholesterol levels, sustain blood glucose levels, and sustain energy levels.

SOYA LIFE PORRIDGE

  • Instant cereal (mix with milk / soya milk / water)
  • Tasty
  • Ideal as a meal or a snack
  • Provides a valuable source of soluble dietary fibre (with scientifically proven benefits for colon health; lowering cholesterol; management of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure)
  • Source of essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) with excellent health benefits, especially reduction inflammation (as in arthritis), and benefits for eye health.
  • Vitamin and mineral enriched:
    • Calcium
    • Iron
    • Magnesium
    • Selenium
    • Zinc
    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamins B1, B2, , B3 , B6
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin D

All 3 of these products are packaged in easy-to-store packaging, and have a long shelf-life.

They provide a practical and tasty solution, when used daily, for elderly adults.

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