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Caring for grandparents

Grandparents are loved and revered in many cultures; they pass on valuable information and knowledge due to their extensive life experiences. Due to aging, changes in their psychology and physiology will occur which has a direct impact on how nutrients are absorbed. Undernutrition or malnutrition in older folks may be caused by mental disorders such as depression, dementia or a physical ailment. In either case, the body is not being supplied with the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy immune system. 

One train of thought is to introduce a meal replacement or a supplement drink to substitute for a meal. While these attempts at fixing the problem are commended, these fixes are to be used in addition to regular and well balanced meals. According to Dr. Amy Ehrlich who specialises in geriatric care, the low fat, low calorie diet that is recommended for the general population is not recommended for a frail elderly person. Caretakers should not be afraid to use regular milk, cheese, eggs, peanut butter, ice cream and other foods to encourage eating for the elderly.  

When preparing meals, be mindful of the following nutrients:

  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Calcium
  • Sodium

A good balance of these essential nutrients can keep our loved ones around and healthy for many years to come.

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