Many seniors and older adults struggle with digestion. As a person ages, their digestive system begins to slow down and more water becomes absorbed by the intestines, resulting in constipation and stomach pain. In addition, there are a handful of medications that are commonly prescribed to seniors that can have adverse affects on digestive health and can exasperate already uncomfortable problems.
If you provide care for an aging parent or loved one who experiences digestive problems on a regular basis, consider making changes to their diet. Many senior care professionals say that digestive problems can be minimized and sometimes eliminated when a senior or elderly adults eats with digestive health in mind. As a leading provider of in-home senior care, Home Care Assistance of Lincoln offers a few simple ways in which seniors can promote better digestion:
Fiber is crucial for digestion and is known as one of the top ways to prevent constipation. Good sources of fiber can include, but are not limited to fruits, vegetables and various types of beans. Adding a variety of color to the plate is a simple and effective way to help ensure that a diet is full of fiber. For instance, greens such as spinach and kale and oranges such as yams and carrots are all great sources of fiber. The more color, the better! Also, the senior should consume plenty of whole grains or wheat breads as opposed to white.
Avoid Processed Foods
Many people know that processed foods are unhealthy, but did you know that because they are packed with sodium, they can hinder digestive efforts? Stick with fresh foods, and opt for frozen foods over canned foods when fresh produce and ingredients are not available. If your loved one is unable to shop for fresh meals independently or has trouble preparing meals as the result of frailty or immobility, consider help from a part-time caregiver in Lincoln. This way, you can rest assured knowing your loved one is always able to enjoy a nutritious and well-balanced diet.
Increase Fluid Intake
One of the simplest ways a senior can minimize digestive problems is by increasing fluid intake. Not only can this aid in the prevention of constipation, but it can help prevent choking, a serious concern for seniors who may suffer from advanced illness such as dementia or Parkinson’s. Seniors should be provided with plenty of fluids while they eat as well as in between meals. Caffeinated beverages should be consumed in moderation and senior should strive to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day.
Although digestive problems are common among senior adults, simple measures like the one’s listed above can contribute to better digestive health and overall comfort. For more information or to learn more about the care services provided by Home Care Assistance of Lincoln, contact a Care Manager today at 402-261-5158.