Fitness is a way of life! It is for kids, adults and also for the elderly. But how often do we give enough diet attention to the elderly, who need our care and help the most? Instead of leaving them to their devices, we must keep a tab on their health, and give them a fresh lease of life so that they can live life king-size, at whatever age they may be! We are all aging forwards, not backwards. Since more than half of the world is more than 65 years of age, geriatrics or elderly care is a very pertinent question today. So how would you take care of an aging demographic? The following points can help you decide how to help the elderly of the house.
The Key Foundations of Ageing Care
Ageing is a harsh truth that prevails no matter what. We are all going to age someday if we are lucky enough to live that long. So instead of just waiting to die, we must celebrate the fact that we are alive and each moment should be lived and not just endured.
Teaching them to be independent
Post 65 years is often known as the second childhood. So the older they turn, the more they are dependent on their children, grandchildren or domestic help. But the idea is to make them feel independent and in lieu of that, confident as well. Confidence generates happiness and contentment.
The world is a global village, and however far apart are we from our families, we must find meaningful ways to keep connected. If you are past 60 and nothing gives you more pleasure than watching the cherubic face of your grandchildren, there’s no need to fret, because of the options available. Modern technology bridges this gap between loved ones.
So the elderly can listen to the voice and see their loved ones at the push of a button. Resorting to something as simple as Skype conferencing can do the needful. Even if the elderly are away from social media, they can be introduced to the perks of social media in a very simple way. This is a simple way of the family taking care of elderly.
To feel productive
To be active, get the elderly involved in activities they are more interested in! Gardening, cooking and art are just a few examples you can use to make them feel more wanted and also productive.
Science Helping the Elderly to Stride Forward With Head Held High
Gone are those days, when the elderly were left to themselves, where they potter around their home reminiscing about their past, not knowing what to do! Their movements are restricted, their brains become foggy, chronic diseases catch up with their sedentary lifestyle, but their helplessness can be fairly reduced with new age technology. Few of the following gadgets can help the elderly combat with their everyday problems.
There’s nothing new about the personal alarm, they have been used at home for ages. But there is a gadget which helps the elderly to communicate with their loved ones or caregivers. If something happens, you simply need to press the button for assistance to address elderly health issues. However, if you fall or feel sick to reach the button for any reason then the alarm is rendered useless. But there is a new kind of alarm which, if incorporated into these gadgets will automatically summon assistance if there is an emergency to reach out for geriatric doctors. It even has a GPS tracker built in to help the emergency services locate you.
Monitoring your medication intake
Sometimes it is difficult to remember for the elderly to take their medication and this can often be one of the reasons that someone needs to be shifted to a nursing home or an assisted living home. However, there is now a pill dispenser which sounds several alarms and even calls on your cell phone to remind you to take your medicines on time. Besides, there may be sensors fitted on the bottles to remind you if you have missed a dose, and a message is passed to the caregiver so that they give the caregiver a message to give the medicines on time.
Many older people love to take long leisurely walks and enjoy the fresh air outside. Unfortunately, they might get lost, as with age, the cognitive functions of the elderly suffer to a great extent. An inbuilt device called the GPS tracker in your shoes will help others to know what their location is and locate them if they get lost. This system works best if the geographical boundaries are set along with time limits. You can even alert geriatric home care physicians with these tools.
Home monitoring systems
Sensors placed around a home will allow your caregiver to build up a general routine of your movements. The system can then be set accordingly so that a caregiver is alerted if the regular movements are suddenly disrupted. These sensors will also help to keep track of any emergencies. These sensors are also alert if there is an intruder in the house.
There are now latest apps available which will allow the elderly to connect with their caregiver, friends or family by pressing a few buttons. This can be a pre-set message which simply tells people that they are perfectly fine, or they can use a panic button which will alert everyone who is on a speed dial about their sudden predicament. Other apps will also remind you to take your medication or can even direct you back to your home if you have lost your way. Among some of the most efficient apps to take care of the elderly will be
- Blood Pressure IBP
- Pill Reminder Pro
- Geriatric Depression Scale
- Dragon Dictation
It is possible to get a wristband which can track your vitals like pulse, blood pressure and connect to a smartphone. The information then is transmitted to the doctor. This will ensure that the elderly receive prompt help if needed and that you do not waste the doctor’s time or raise your stress levels by needing to visit a doctor. There is a wide range of items which can be monitored including, heart rate, blood glucose, steps were taken, diet, and even time spent sleeping. There are many senior citizens who keep in touch with their friends and relatives via social media. Even simple messages can spread warmth and assurance when one is feeling down and put.
Seniors can easily live comfortably in their own homes. However, because accidents might happen, it’s certainly a good idea for caregivers to keep an eye on their behavior even if they are staying far away. Apps and monitoring devices are excellent tools. Most of them are quite affordable (some are even free), so it’s definitely a good thing that technology is finally starting to care for the aged, it does not only serve entertainment purpose but also it serves the aged when they need it the most. These are novel ways of senior care training.
Nutrition for the Elderly, Some Recipes
Once we start aging, we must look at the nutrition factors as we need the right vitamins and minerals to combat degenerative diseases. Food can be nourishing, it can give you strength and can also reduce inflammation, and slow down the aging process.
- Calcium- Calcium is an essential component for the maintenance of healthy bones, but unfortunately may begin to be reabsorbed back into the body from the bones as we get older. This condition is known as osteoporosis as the bones become fragile and brittle. Fortified cereals, yogurt, green leafy vegetables, can help stall osteoporosis on its tracks.
- Fat- Older people who are fit, hale and hearty may not need too much of fat, but as one grows older; the need to include more fats arises as this can replenish the calorie needs as the elderly tend to cut their food intake massively.
- Fiber- Bowel problems can become a problem as one grows older, some people might suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or constipation. The addition of fibre in their diets, with whole-wheat, fruits and vegetables, can help them to get considerable relief.
- Fluid- As we get older, the requirement for fluids and water increases, to stop bodies getting dehydrated. Even if they are not thirsty, they need to replenish the lost body fluids.
- Iron- Iron can be found in meat, some vegetables and dried fruit. The body uses it to make hemoglobin, which helps it to carry the oxygen in the red blood cells right from the lungs to various parts of the body.
- Vitamin C- This vitamin assists the body in collagen formation, which is needed to heal wounds and also to repair bones and teeth. It’s rich in anti-oxidants, and thus is essential for the body. Fresh fruit and vegetables are the main sources of vitamin C but supplements are sometimes needed to keep it to optimum levels.
- Vitamin D- Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium thus reduce the amount of calcium loss from the bones. A key source of Vitamin D is exposure to sunlight, though it is important to supplement your diet with foods which are rich in the nutrient such as oily fish, eggs and certain fortified cereals and spreads. As you grow older it is all the more important to take a vitamin D supplement.
- Zinc- Zinc is required for the maintenance of a healthy immune system and is most commonly found in meat, shellfish, wholemeal bread and pulses.
Recipes for the Elderly
Include the above nutrients, to make delicious recipes which are filling as well as wholesome for the elderly. These are in fact ideal to fulfill the nutrient needs of the elderly.
Oatmeal has lots of fibre to take care of bowel irregularities. Add to that the nutritious banana, this makes a filling and wholesome breakfast.
- 1⁄3 cup oatmeal, quick-cooking (dry)
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cups water (very hot)
- 1⁄2 banana (sliced)
- 1⁄2 cup frozen yoghurt, non-fat
- In a microwave-safe cereal bowl, mix together the oatmeal with the salt. Add water.
- Microwave on high power for 1 minute. Keep stirring. Microwave on high power for another minute. Stir again.
- Microwave an additional 30-60 seconds on high power until the cereal reaches the desired thickness. Stir again.
- Serve with banana slices and frozen yoghurt.
This is a protein rich breakfast to help you stall muscle loss. It caters to your protein needs and helps you begin your day on a healthy note.
- 1/2 medium onion, minced
- 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 lb. ground lamb or turkey
- Chicken broth
- 3 cups rinsed and finely chopped kale (stems removed)
- 5 omega-3 enriched eggs
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Mince onion and chop garlic; let them sit for 5 minutes to enhance their health-promoting benefits.
- Preheat broiler on low.
- Heat 1 TBS broth in a 9-10 inch stainless steel skillet. Sauté onion over medium heat, for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add garlic, ground lamb or turkey, and cook for another 3 minutes on medium heat, breaking up clumps.
- Add kale and the chicken broth. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook covered for about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and mix.
- Beat eggs, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and pour on top of mixture evenly. Cook on low for another 2 minutes without stirring.
- Place skillet under the broiler in the middle of oven, about 7 inches from the heat source so it has time to cook without the top burning. As soon as the eggs are firm, it is done, about 2-3 minutes.
Greek Yoghurt Parfait
The good bacteria in the yoghurt make it an excellent probiotic source. Have this in order to improve your gut health.
- 3 cups plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons honey
- 28 clementine segments
- 1/4 cup shelled, unsalted dry-roasted chopped pistachios
- Combine yogurt and vanilla in a bowl. Spoon 1/3 cup yogurt mixture into each of 4 small parfait glasses; top each with 1/2 teaspoon honey, 5 clementine sections, and 1/2 tablespoon nuts.
- Top parfaits with the remaining yoghurt mixture (about 1/3 cup each); top each with 1/2 teaspoon honey, 2 clementine segments, and 1/2 tablespoon nuts. Serve immediately.
Stir fry Eggplants
Vegetables are an important source of vitamins and minerals. The following recipe is an excellent resource of anti-oxidants.
- 2 eggplant (peeled and cubed)
- 1 zucchini (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup green bell pepper (cut into strips)
- 2 onions (sliced)
- 3 tablespoons Italian salad dressing (low fat)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups brown rice (cooked)
- Place eggplant, zucchini, green bell pepper, onions, and salad dressing into a skillet.
- Stir lightly to combine and cook over low heat until tender.
- Stir in cherry tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes. Serve over cooked brown rice.
Sometimes when it is difficult to chew foods, a soup can serve the purpose very well. It is filling, easy on your stomach and extremely nutritious.
- 1 can white beans (15 ounces, rinsed and drained)
- 1 onion (small, or 2 tsp. onion powder)
- 1 cup water
- 1 can pumpkin (15 ounces, plain)
- 1 can chicken or vegetable broth, low-salt (14.5 ounces)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme or tarragon
- salt and pepper to taste (optional)
- Combine together white beans, onion, and water.
- In a soup pot, mix bean purees with pumpkin, broth, and spices.
- Cover and cook over low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes until it is suitably warm.
Besides the nutrition aspect, it is important that the elderly enjoy light exercises, to keep their limbs supple, and to drive away all kinds of age-related blues, even seek the help of elderly care at home. Aging is a part of life, the sooner you accept it the better. There are tons of things you can do to keep your life interesting and invigorating. You just have to reach out to the opportunities and utilize them the right way.