Proper diet and a healthy life go hand in hand, especially for older adults over the age of 65. According to reports by World Health Organization (WHO), a majority of the diseases that older people suffer are as a result of lack of proper diet.
For instance, fat in food is linked cancer of the prostate, colon, and pancreas. Degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis and diabetes are also diet-related, more specifically with micronutrients.
Micronutrients deficiency is shared among the elderly due to factors such as reduced food intake and lack of variety in their diet.
As you advance in age, your senses become numbed down; it takes more energy and time to trigger a stimulus. Your sense of smell and taste decreases reducing your appetite. In some cases, you may even have trouble differentiating fresh food from stale since your senses are compromised. This, without any doubt, would be detrimental to your health.
Medication Side Effects
Some medications cause nausea, reduced appetite, and change food tastes perceptions. In this case, the side effects can discourage you from eating, and you end up skipping meals.
Poor Dental Health
Dental issues are more likely to come up as you grow older such as missing teeth, receding gums that cause your teeth to be shaky, mouth sores, and jaw pain. All these factors make chewing painful and uncomfortable hence reducing the likelihood of taking healthy foods among seniors.
Lack of Finances
Older people have limited resources and worry more about money. They may, therefore, cut back on groceries and buy cheaper food, which, in most cases, is less nutritious. This lifestyle can result in many nutritional deficiencies.
Lack of Transportation
To shop for fresh cooking ingredients, you have to drive to the store, wait through heavy traffic, and park the car a distance from the door. If it’s raining or snowing, it’s even more challenging. Chances of slipping and falling are high. These activities may discourage you from going to shop altogether.
Seniors become weaker with age, especially when dealing with conditions like arthritis and disability. Pain and poor physical strength can make simple tasks appear to be challenging. Performing basic functions like standing for long while cooking, carrying groceries, or even peeling a fruit may become daunting tasks.
Memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease are fairly typical among seniors. A senior may forget to follow their recommended meal program or skip a meal or even forget to buy food from the store. This poses a nutritional challenge.
As you grow older, a lot of changes take place, (your children move away, you lose your friends and loved ones due to death, you feel lonely—especially if you live all by yourself, you experience physical changes). All these issues compounded can lead to depression. Seniors may become apathetic about their health and avoid eating. If left untreated, depression can lead to much more significant health problems.