As a family caregiver, you know how important diet is to helping your parent maintain a healthy weight and give their body what it needs to function and thrive. But can it help them to avoid serious health issues? Osteoporosis is a serious health complication that can put your parent at increased risk of fractures and other complications, making it extremely important for you to take efforts to help them prevent this condition as they age in place. Fortunately, there are dietary approaches that you can take to help reduce the risk that they will develop this condition, and can also help to keep them healthier and stronger if they do develop it during their later years.
Use these diet tips to help your parent prevent osteoporosis or to keep them stronger if they do develop it as they get older:
• Do not neglect protein. Many people do not think about protein when it comes to bone health, but this nutrient is the building block of bone tissue just as it is for the other living tissues throughout the body. Encourage your loved one to get enough lean protein each day. If they do not eat meat or animal products, or have reduced these in their diet, introduce protein through plant sources such as quinoa, beans, legumes, nuts, and tofu.
• Get plenty of calcium. Most people think of calcium when considering nutritional ways to support bone health. The first thing that you might consider is dairy products, but these are not the only source of calcium that you can encourage your parent to eat. If they do not like dairy, do not eat animal products, or are trying to reduce their fat intake, encourage them to eat plenty of dark green leafy vegetables, which are an exceptional source of this nutrient.
• Get your vitamins. Vitamin D is critical for the absorption of calcium. Look for foods that are enriched with this vitamin, such as dairy products and cereals. You can also encourage some extra time out in the sun, which promotes your body making this vitamin naturally.
If your elderly loved one has recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis or has particular risk factors that make them more vulnerable to this condition, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your aging loved one on a customized schedule that ensures they get all of the care and support that they need, while also allowing you to give them the care that you are able to give them according to your own schedule and abilities. This means that you can always feel confident that your senior is getting everything that they need whether you are able to be with them or not. These personalized services can be particularly valuable for an elderly adult who is suffering from osteoporosis. This care provider can help your parent to remain compliant with their medications and guidelines by offering reminders. They can also encourage them to make good lifestyle choices, such as eating a healthy diet and staying active. Physical support and assistance can help to reduce fall risk and protect your parent while they are handling basic daily tasks, such as bathing, navigating the home, and toileting. When it comes to helping them get the nutrition that they need to keep their body healthy, this care provider can provide your loved one with safe and reliable transportation to the grocery store to help them stock their kitchen with the healthy foods that are right for them. They can also research recipes with your parent to help them choose foods that are good for them but that also appeal to their personal tastes.
They can then get into the kitchen with your senior to help them prepare meals and snacks that will help to keep their body healthy and strong.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in DeWitt, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.