Science has proven a significant link between nutrition and quality of life. However, meal planning and nutrition for seniors can be challenging, because of the side effects of medications, decreased ability to taste as we age, and changing appetites. Often, seniors need special diets in order to effectively manage chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, or other challenges such as obesity. Here are five ways that senior living communities can successfully address nutrition in the community.
Expert eye. It’s not always easy to distinguish what food is healthy and what food isn’t. That’s why a nutritionist and dietician should review and evaluate the menus before they’re made to make sure all health needs are being met.
Resident feedback. It takes a village to create a menu that will keep everyone healthy. In order to make sure the meals will appeal to residents, many communities work with their residents in the meal planning process to get a full understanding of their likes, dislikes, and preferences.
Homemade food. Studies show that processed food lacks adequate nutrition and can weaken the immune system. Many communities have moved away from institutional food preparation, and are embracing recipes made from scratch.
Serving local foods. Not only does it leave a smaller carbon footprint, but locally-sourced food contains more nutrients than imported and frozen meals. More communities are customizing their menu to feature regional dishes or local ingredients as a way of bringing a little bit more of home to the menu.
“Seniors often need special diets in order to effectively manage chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, or other challenges such as obesity.”
A more creative and nutritious dining experience is the best way to encourage seniors to develop healthy eating habits. Three nutritious meals a day and snacks are available to all our residents — come take a tour today and have a meal with us!
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Helping seniors stay healthy is a tenant of life at Camino Retirement Apartments and Westwind House.