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The Age Factor: Changes in Nutritional Needs for Seniors

Lots of different factors make it difficult for seniors to eat healthy. Changing taste buds, medication side effects, and a lack of interest in cooking for just two people are all reasons that play a role. On top of that Seniors have different nutritional needs than younger people. Eating well is important at any age, but even more necessary for seniors because nutritional needs change as we age.

According to Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born, a licensed naturopathic physician, 3.7 million seniors are malnourished in America today. Dr. Jones-Born provides some great insight into why seniors have different nutritional needs:

How Do Our Bodies Change As We Age?

There are many reasons our bodies change as we get older, including physiological, perceptual and and general age-related conditions—such as gastrointestinal or dental conditions. These changes all influence the performance of our body as a whole, which in turn, influences our eating, nutritional intake and overall health.

Physiological Changes 

One reason nutritional needs change is due to physiological changes that occur later in life.  Energy expenditure generally decreases with advancing age because of a decrease in basal metabolic rate and physical activity, thus decreasing our caloric needs. Our bodies also begin to experience a decrease in kidney function, re-distribution of body composition and changes in our nervous system.

Perceptual Changes 

Perceptual changes later in life can also influence our nutrition, such as changes in hearing, taste, smell and vision.  One of the most common complaints is in regards to the diminished taste in food. As taste buds decrease, so does our taste for salty and sweet—often times making food taste more bitter or sour. Diminished or loss of hearing also affects our nutrition and food experience.  The difficulty and frustration from the inability to hold a conversation with our eating partner out at a restaurant or at a social function can limit one’s food experience.  And the loss of smell can also have a huge impact on the types of food one chooses to eat as there is a loss of satisfaction that can lead to poor food choices.

Other Aging-Related Changes 

Other changes in body function may impact nutritional intake, such as dentition, or the makeup of a set of teeth (including how many, their arrangement and their condition). The loss of teeth and/or ill-fitting dentures can lead to avoidance of hard and sticky foods. Gastrointestinal changes such as chronic gastritis, delayed stomach emptying, constipation and gas may lead to avoiding healthy foods, such a fruits and vegetables—the food categories that should be more emphasized rather than eliminated.

These factors alone may contribute to why 3.7 million seniors are malnourished and shed light on the importance of educating caregivers and aging seniors as to specific dietary need options, as well as, catered senior diets and nutritional needs.

Senior Citizens, Malnutrition—And  Vitamin Deficiencies

Malnutrition is seen in varying degrees in the elderly, along with varying vitamin deficiencies.  Malnutrition is due to under nutrition, nutrient deficiencies or imbalances. Most physicians do not see frank malnutrition anymore, such as scurvy; but more milder malnutrition symptoms such as loss of appetite, weight loss/gain, general malaise or lack of overall interest and wellness. Common nutrient deficiencies of dietary origin include inadequate intake of vitamin A, B, C, D, E, folic acid and niacin.  Malnutrition may also be the result of some socioeconomic risk factors, such as the following:

  • Loss of a spouse or family member
  • Lack of interest in cooking or eating alone
  • Fear of personal safety (which affects their ability to go grocery shopping)
  • Financial concerns
  • Institutionalization or hospitalizations (that do not ensure adequate nutrition)

Clearly nutrition plays a vital role in the quality of life in older persons. This is why preventative medicine and focusing on good eating habits is crucial. It is recommended to follow a preventative health maintenance nutritional program, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which describes two eating plans.

  1. The USDA food patterns
  2. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Eating Plan

*DASH is a lot like the Food Patterns, but focuses on lowering blood pressure.

The USDA food patterns suggests that people 50 or older choose healthy foods every day from the following:

  • Fruits—1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups
    What is the same as 1/2 cup of cut-up fruit? A 2-inch peach or 1/4 cup of dried fruit
  • Vegetables—2 to 3-1/2 cups
    What is the same as a cup of cut-up vegetables? Two cups of uncooked leafy vegetable
  • Grains—5 to 10 ounces
    What is the same as an ounce of grains? A small muffin, a slice of bread, a cup of flaked, ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta
  • Protein foods—5 to 7 ounces
    What is the same as an ounce of meat, fish, or poultry? One egg, ¼ cup of cooked beans or tofu, ½ ounce of nuts or seeds, or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Dairy foods—3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk
    What is the same as 1 cup of milk? One cup of yogurt or 1-1/2 to 2 ounces of cheese. One cup of cottage cheese is the same as ½ cup of milk.
  • Oils—5 to 8 teaspoons
    What is the same as oil added during cooking? Foods like olives, nuts, and avocado have a lot of oil in them.
  • Solid fats and added sugars (SoFAS)—keep the amount of SoFAS small 
    If you eat too many foods containing SoFAS, you will not have enough calories for the nutritious foods you should be eating.
Learn more about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services DASH eating plan to decide whether it’s right for you or a loved one.

Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born, Naturopathic Physician

About the Author:

Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born is a licensed naturopathic physician in California and Connecticut, and is an active member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Born Naturopathic Associates, Inc. is the prime location in Alameda, CA for integrative medical care for patients off all ages and genders, for acute and chronic conditions. 


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JLF celebrates 107-year-old client Mary Curtean on Senior Day

photo-9August 21 is Senior Citizens Day. While we hope that you think of our seniors every day of the year, Senior Citizens Day is a reminder to spend time with a senior, make plans to volunteer, share stories and memories, help with chores or errands or just do something fun with a senior! 

At Just Like Family Home Care, we took the day to honor a special client who brings our company and our caregivers so much joy! Mary Curtean is 107-years-old. 

Mary’s family reached out to Just Like Family Home Care last year after she fell in the middle of the night. “She is still very active at 107 years old, so we’ve been hesitant to put her in a quote on quote institution. We found Just Like Family Home Care and it was perfect for my mother in law and perfect for our family. This was the first place we saw and it clicked. It’s not just a name, you walk in and you feel just like family,” says Nina Curtean, 74, Mary’s daughter in law.

For the past year and a half, the Curteans have had a caregiver stay with Mary every night from 7:30 p.m. – 7:30 a.m. “It’s not an easy decision, but it was 100 percent necessary and the right move. My mother-in-law is very independent and she insisted she didn’t need someone to ‘watch her sleep’, but the reality is, someone needs to be there just in case. Just Like Family Home Care has given us such piece of mind,” says Nina Curtean. “My mother-in-law’s caregiver Marta is unbelievable. She gives her heart and sole as a caregiver. Loyalty is a very rare quality, but it’s very important and Marta has that quality. I couldn’t be happier with her and Just Like Family.”

The Curteans are able to work directly with Just Like Family Home Care to personalize all of Mary’s home care needs. “Just Like Family is special. They’re detailed in everything they do. You ask them for anything and they will do it,” say Nina Curtean. “My mother in law is a very simple woman. She loves to live because life was great for her. She just enjoys it, but aging has played a role and it changes a person and a family. We would not be able to do what we do today without Just Like Family.” 

 

 


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Don’t Miss Out: Love That Dress! is Summer’s Best Event!

Love-that-Dress-Pace-Center-Kara-VitaWe are just one week away from summer’s best event. Tickets are on sale for Love That Dress! and Just Like Family Home Care is not only a PROUD sponsor, but we are also very involved in the 4th annual event! Owner Elisabeth Nassberg is this year’s co-chair and Michelle Krumm is the volunteer chair. Last night we had our last LTD! dress collection party of the summer at BURN in Mercato and it was, once again, a huge hit! Thank you to BURN for being a great host. Now it’s time to get your tickets for the event! 

WHO BENEFITS  

PACE Center for Girls in Immokalee is a 501(c)3 organization that works with young women between the ages of 12-18 living in at risk situations. PACE provides guidance and educational opportunities giving these girls a path to a successful life. Every dollar that you spend on dresses, ticket sales and silent auction items benefit the PACE girls. Click here for more information on PACE

WHAT IS LOVE THAT DRESS! 

Over the past few months we have collected THOUSANDS of gently loved designer dresses at dozens of LTD! dress collection parties. Women throughout SWFL have generously cleaned out their closets and donated gently loved dresses for this event. We have spent weeks organizing, tagging and getting ready for the big day, which is Saturday August 23rd at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. Now, it’s time to BUY these amazing dresses at a discounted price. From Gap to Gucci, you will have the opportunity on August 23rd to sift through thousands of designer dresses that are now priced as low as $10. 

BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY 

Collier County’s fourth annual Love That Dress! will take place Saturday, Aug. 23 at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Course. VIP ticket holders will be allowed in at 5 p.m. and get first dibs on the best of the best. General admission ticket holders will get in at 6 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door if the event doesn’t sell out. General Admission tickets are $30 per person or $150 for VIP. 

Click here to BUY YOUR TICKET TODAY!

 

 

 


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Senior Dishes: 4 Heart Healthy Recipes you Have to Try!

As one ages, there becomes a much needed increase in paying more attention to ones overall health, especially the heart, the most important muscle in the body. The heart is vital for our survival. With this, people need to take care of their heart. One way someone can do this is to eat heart healthy foods to make the heart strong and healthier. Here are some recipes to help aid the heart in living a long happy life:

Creamy Spinach and Feta Dip

What you need:
1 10.5-ounce package chopped frozen spinach
½ cup fat-free yogurt
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
½ cup fat-free feta cheese crumbles
1 teaspoon garlic, minced from jar
2 teaspoons dried parsley or dill (or 1/3 cup fresh chopped)
½ teaspoon black pepper
6 whole-wheat pitas sliced in quarters

 

Directions:
1. Cook spinach according to package directions and drain in colander (press with fork to drain completely).
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve with pita slices.

Tailgate Chili

What you need:
1 pound 95% lean ground beef (or ground white meat chicken or turkey for a healthier option)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium jalapeno, chopped (optional, only if you like spicy chili)
2 teaspoons minced garlic from the jar or 4 cloves minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 (15.5 oz) can no-salt-added or low-sodium pinto or kidney beans, undrained
1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added or low-sodium diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup jarred salsa (lowest sodium available)

Directions:
1. Spray large saucepan with cooking spray. Cook beef and onion over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly to break up beef. 2. Transfer to colander and rinse with water to drain excess fat. Return beef to pan.
3. Stir in bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, and cumin, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Optional – serve topped with low-fat grated cheese, a dollop of fat-free sour cream, sliced avocado, snipped cilantro or chopped green onions.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

Pulled Pork

What you need:

1½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon black pepper
2½-3 pound lean cut pork loin roast, visible fat removed
½ cup unsweetened plain applesauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
½ cup low sodium chicken broth
½ cup water
1 small onion, roughly chopped

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, combine thyme, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika and pepper. Rub evenly over pork. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together applesauce, vinegar, honey, chicken broth and water. In crock-pot, scatter onions to cover the bottom of dish. Place pork on top of onion and pour applesauce mixture over pork. Cook on low setting for 6-7 hours.
3.Remove meat from crock-pot and discard remaining cooking liquid. When cool enough to touch, shred pork by hand or with two forks, discarding any fat and/or bones. (Optional- remove onions with serrated spoon).

BBQ Sauce and Sandwiches

What you need:
¼ cup unsweetened, plain applesauce
2 tablespoons sugar free peach preserves
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
12 whole-wheat slider buns
12 thin slices green apple (about 1 apple)
12 thin slices red onion (about ½ an onion)

Directions:
1. Whisk together applesauce, preserves, chili powder and vinegar to make BBQ sauce.
2. Toss sauce with pulled pork. Fill each slider bun with about ¼ cup pork, apple slices and red onion slices.

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Almond-Mocha Topping on Raspberry Sauce

What you need:
Cooking spray
Cupcakes
1 18.25-ounce box devil’s food cake mix
1 2.5-ounce jar baby food pureed prunes
1 cup strong coffee, or 1 cup water plus 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
3 large egg whites
2 tablespoons canola or corn oil
Sauce
2 12-ounce packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Topping
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons water
8 ounces frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed in refrigerator
2/3 cup sliced almonds, dry-roasted

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F, or as directed on the package. Lightly spray two 12-cup muffin pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cupcake ingredients. Follow the package directions for beating the batter and baking and cooling the cupcakes.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, stir together the raspberries, sugar, and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.

4. Let cool completely, about 20 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.
5. In a medium bowl, stir together the coffee granules and water until the coffee is dissolved. Fold in the whipped topping until well blended.

6.Cover and refrigerate until needed.

For each serving, spread 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons raspberry sauce on a dessert plate, top with a cupcake, spoon 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons whipped topping mixture over the cupcake, and sprinkle with about 1 1/2 teaspoons almonds.