Nutrition is such a vital component of everyday life as it is one of the most important factors in achieving a healthy lifestyle, and throughout our lifecycle, nutrition is important for varying reasons.
Nutrition for the elderly is very crucial in regards to one’s quality of life. Despite the importance of nutrition being emphasised in this demographic, malnutrition is still quite frequent. Malnutrition in the elderly can arise due to a handful of reasons including a decreased ability to perform daily activities such as cooking and shopping, poor-fitting dentures or dentition, dry mouth, poor digestion or absorption of nutrients, chronic diseases, decreased smell and taste sensations and medication interference. Once malnutrition becomes established within an elderly individual, it can lead to increased risks of chronic disease, weight loss, depression and poor immunity, along with nutrient deficient related symptoms.
Tailored meal plans may present a solution to combat this preventable condition that can decrease one’s quality of life. Meal plans can be of varying durations depending on dietary restrictions and/or choices such as vegetarian, dairy free and low carbohydrate. These dietary plans involve preparing good quality, nutrient rich, and (most importantly), delicious and visually aesthetic food to encourage regular, healthy eating, whilst promoting a positive ideology around food itself.
Often accompanied by easy resources, meal plans encourage meal preparation by the users. It is important to note that individuals with certain health conditions are advised to visit their dietitian or healthcare professional for a personalised diet plan. Home care providers are able to assist people with meal preparation (and the shopping prior to!) in their own homes.
Nicholas Hastie (Bachelor of Health Sciences, UQ) is passionate about supporting and improving the nutritional awareness and health of our elderly community members. He has worked alongside Just Better Care Brisbane North, an Approved Aged Care Provider based in Kallangur, on a nutritional project to reduce the risk of malnutrition.
Please contact Just Better Care Brisbane North on 3056 0777 to find out more about newly developed meal plans available to their customers with a Home Care Package.