Home Care Heroes Blog

Elder Care Nutrition - The Basics

Like many of our posts, this one has little to do with Private Duty Eric DurakSoftware or Home Care Scheduling Software, but instead looks more broadly at Home Care Best Practices.  Today we start a series on elder care nutrition, with the main source of content coming from Eric Durak, MSc, president of Medical Health and Fitness (banner below).  Eric has delivered exercise programs for persons with various medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, and orthopedic conditions and has performed over 10,000 hours of exercise and wellness instruction.  Eric is the author of over 100 scientific and general health articles,
24 books and chapters, and internet publications. He is pleased to
introduce Wellness @ Home as the next level of educational programming in healthcare.  Some video of Eric teaching care providers is included in our recent video highlights of the NAHC Private Duty Summit.

Medical Health and Fitness

Basics of Elder Care Nutrition

Starting at the very beginning, when you create and manage a diet for an elderly person, you need to focus on the following:

  • Maximize Nutrition
  • Easy Preparation
  • Mostly Whole Foods
  • Stay away from processed foods
  • Address Medical Issues

So far, these guidelines apply to everyone and not just the elderly.  But the way you apply them is different.  Speaking from my personal experience, I generally concentrate on choices that will reduce my calories, but with elderly people you often need to worry about the opposite.  For example, a breakfast of a piece of white toast and a cup of black coffee only provides around 60 calories and very little nutrition, so instead of cutting back you need to have them eat more.  Wheat toast with peanut butter and a glass of juice will provide so much more protein, nutrition and vitamins to start their day.

In addition to under-nutrition described above, here is a list of key areas that need to be focused on for good elderly nutrition:

  • Right amount of fiber
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Digestion and constipation
  • Right amount of calories
  • Mineral imbalance
  • Ulcers and sores
  • Food and eating - social notions
  • High in antioxidants (ORAC score)

We'll continue our series in coming weeks with more information about nutrition for patients with chronic conditions, and we'll also share more about antioxidants and the ORAC Score.

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of home care.  To learn more about Ankota for your Private Duty, Nursing, DME Delivery or Home Therapy business, please go to www.ankota.com or contact us.

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