It’s a badge of merit for you as a caregiver when the senior you are working with gets healthier, not sicker. And this is entirely possible. One of the biggest factors is diet.
The goal is to get the most nutrition into the body of your senior, and then let nature take its course to do the healing. The top three ways to do this are:
- Juice vegetables.
- Make smoothies.
- Offer protein shakes.
Let’s examine each of these in the context of elder care.
1. Juice Vegetables
Juicing vegetables is a way to concentrate their nutritional content. For example, one cup of carrot juice will contain the nutrients found in one entire pound of carrots, an amount your senior – or any healthy adult – is not going to eat in one day. Juicing is the quickest way to see a turnaround in the senior in your elder care situation.
What should be juiced? Carrots are a good place to start since a cup of carrot juice is extremely beneficial for all skin disorders, eyesight, and the digestive system. Carrots contain very little vitamin K so carrot juice is safe for those who are on anticoagulants.
Here’s a suggestion: start slowly by adding a cup of carrot juice to the diet of the senior under your care. You may even want to purchase it at first since the investment is significantly less this way than getting the family to buy a juicer.
2. Make Smoothies
Smoothies keep all the fiber of the vegetables and fruits in the recipe. This may make it more
difficult to swallow for some seniors with nervous system illnesses. Also the amount of vegetables and fruits in these recipes is not that high – but yet high enough to start showing health benefits within a week or two. One suggestion: Try yogurt-based recipes that you add veggies and fruits to, such as yogurt, strawberries, lemon juice, cinnamon, spinach, kale, parsley, and a handful of nuts.
3. Protein Shakes
These are exceptionally important for preventing skin breakdown. Offer a protein shake to your senior at least three times a week if it’s been approved by the medical staff. The extra 28 to 35 grams protein goes a long way towards blood sugar regulation, weight stability and mental functions.
NFHC – a home care agency in Houston TX states, “Elder care should include any or all of these three foods in the diet of the senior under your care.”
Some excellent resources on elder care and nutrition include www.NFHcare.com and http://consultgerirn.org/topics/nutrition_in_the_elderly/want_to_know_more