The elderly, who are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, may have a hard time getting all the nutrients required for a balanced diet. If you take care of an elderly parent or grandparent there are plenty of steps you can take to help them get adequate nutrition as they get older.

Getting the proper nutrition is important for people of all ages but eating right often becomes difficult for seniors. The elderly, who are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, may have a hard time getting all the nutrients required for a balanced diet. Malnutrition often presents itself as weight loss, disorientation, and lightheadedness and is often mistaken for illness or disease. If you take care of an elderly parent or grandparent there are plenty of steps you can take to help them get adequate nutrition as they get older.

The best way to find out why your loved one is not eating well is to pay attention and ask them questions. Be encouraging of honesty and openness and reassure them that they are not a burden to you or anyone else in your family. Remind them that they are important to you and that you are there to take care of them. Some of the possible causes of poor nutrition include a decrease in sensitivity of the senses of smell and taste. This affects their ability to taste and enjoy food making them less likely to eat food.

Another cause is side effects of medications which sometimes reduce appetite, make food taste strangely, or cause nausea. Many seniors are also on fixed or limited incomes and out of worry for money, they may cut back on grocery expenses or eat less-nutritious foods in favor of expensive nutritious food. Seniors also experience physical difficulties as they become frailer with age and deal with arthritis and fibromyalgia. Simple tasks like peeling fruit or standing for a long time to cook a meal become too challenging.

Here are some practical tips to ensure that your elderly senior is getting proper nutrition. Offer them nutritionally dense foods because many seniors don’t eat as much as they should. The food they do eat should be as nutritious as possible:

Offer whole and unprocessed foods that are high in calories like healthy fats like nut butters, nuts, and olive oil, whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole grain cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, and protein-rich beans, legumes, and dairy products.

Make food that is aromatic and flavorful. As elderly people’s senses become dulled with age, it is important to make foods that smell strongly delicious in order to stimulate their appetite. You can intensity flavors with herbs, marinades, dressings, and sauces. Combine textures such as yogurt with granola and switch between a variety of foods during one meal to keep food interesting.

Make eating a family occasion. Depressed seniors who feel lonely and isolated are less likely to take the time to sit down to eat a healthy meal. Sit down with the whole family or invite them over on a regular basis. When mealtime becomes an interesting and fun occasion, seniors are more likely to eat and more likely to enjoy what they are eating.

Promote healthy snacks in between meals. Many seniors don’t enjoy large meals so an alternative solution is to plan for several mini-meals throughout the day. Make the meals nutritionally dense with many fruits, vegetablesHealth Fitness Articles, and whole grains. Cut back on high sodium meals and food with high saturated fat content.

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Our employees from Bridges US are excited to embrace the holiday season! Last Friday, they came together to decorate stockings and to spread good cheer! #BridgesCaresToday's #BridgesCares story is about giving back to your community and making a difference. It was a fun-filled day as @BridgesofIndiana staff attended the Kindness Act awards at @HoosierPrairie Elementary! 
The first recipients of the Kindness Act awards from Hoosier Prarie went to the Halstead brothers who raised $500 for the school's backpack program. Bridges of Indiana matched their donation and we couldn't be more proud to show our support. 
It just goes to show that one kind action leads to another! #bethekindkid #BridgesCares #wearitwednesday
Share your stories with us by using the hashtag #BridgesCares for a chance to be featured! 
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Delaney Francis
Marketing Communication Coordinator
phone: (317) 499-2831
email: delaneyfrancis@bridges.us
580 East Carmel Drive, Suite 310
Carmel, IN 46032
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20181212_142027 dot jpgThis week's story of #BridgesCares is brought to you by Bridges of Wyoming! Cliff has made such huge strides in his health. Since coming to Bridges he has lost a whopping 56 pounds! Cliff and his staff Aaron and Terri work very hard on helping Cliff to learn proper nutrition and portion control. Cliff's team including his Case Manager and Guardian are so very proud of him for all of his hard work and making such a great lifestyle change. We even received a call from his Doctor that has seen Cliff for the last five years and stated that he has never seen Cliff in such a healthy state. He was very impressed with how well the staff have helped Cliff, and with how much Cliff has made this positive change. Cliff very excited to continue with his health journey. Great job Cliff! we are very proud of you!A friendly reminder this holiday season! 📷: @thesundaychapterThis week's #BridgesCares story is brought to you by Bridges Autism Therapies. Last week, we had Farmer Joe and his big blue tractor visit our center in Evansville! Why you may wonder? Because one of our littles went on the potty 100% independently! Famer Joe let us climb up inside the tractor, turn the wheels, and rev the engine. Thank you, Farmer Joe! #BridgesCares #BridgesAutismTherapies #EvansvilleDo you follow us on #Twitter? If not, you should!The results of our art competition are in. The winner is our Employee Engagement Manager, Kirstan Kemezy. The organization she chose to donate $100 to is Paws and Think. They are an Indianapolis based organization with a mission to improve people's lives through the power of the human-dog connection. If you are looking for an organization to volunteer with this holiday season, we highly recommend you check out pawsandthink.org to see the available opportunities. We would like to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who voted in the competition on Facebook. Didn’t see the Facebook post? Be sure to like our FB page today! #BridgesCares #BridgesUS #EmployeeEngagementCongrats Kalin on a huge accomplishment! Post credit: @sbnationHappy Thanksgiving from Bridges US and Bridges Autism Therapies! What are you most looking forward to today? #Thanksgiving2018 #Thanksgiving #BridgesUS #BridgesAutismTherapies