A Strict Diet For Seniors – The Pros and Cons
How important is a strict diet for seniors?
For some people a strict diet can feel too confining and just thinking about dietary rules can even make them crave what they “cannot” have. For other people, it can be a relief to know what they will be consuming and when, that they will always like. And their digestive system and body will function properly and feel good as a result of a special diet.
The definition of a “strict diet” is one that not only has predefined lists or criteria for what can and cannot be consumed, but also does not allow “cheat meals,” off-diet treats, or sporadic lapses from the diet. Is a strict diet for seniors the best option?
Quality of life can be affected by diet.
Dietary choices should not be considered merely from a clinical standpoint. Does your senior loved one place a higher value on enjoying their favorite foods even if it comes at the cost of occasional heartburn, slight stomach issues or occasional scolding by their doctor? Or would they prefer to stick to a special diet for the sake of greater physical comfort and functionality and find pleasure elsewhere other than eating popular foods?
A strict diet does not necessarily mean poor nutrition.
Whether or not a certain diet provides proper nutrition for a senior depends on each person’s individual age and health condition. Since the elderly are no longer growing or performing physical labor, a senior’s nutritional needs differ somewhat from most younger adults. Medications can also affect dietary needs as well, either increasing or decreasing the advisable intake levels of certain nutrients.
There are multiple sources of any given nutrient, so it is possible to cut out certain types of foods without resulting in deficiency. For example, people who can’t tolerate dairy products can get plenty of calcium from green vegetables. There are also soy drinks that contain high levels of calcium, and even calcium-enriched chocolate treats. There are similar alternatives, for instance, in meeting protein requirements as well
Trying to understand both what lies behind both a doctor’s dietary recommendation and your elderly loved one’s dietary desires can lead to creative solutions that feel satisfying rather than restrictive.
It is possible to be strict without being plain and repetitive?
A strict diet for seniors is sometimes recommended for managing health issues. However, if you or your loved one crave variety, all you need is someone who can cook with imagination, or who can research recipes—someone who can find delightful ways to prepare the types of food on the recommended diet.
We employ a large number of in-home personal care specialists with a wide range of ethnic, culinary, and dietary experience. Our personal care services can be custom tailored for your needs. You can receive part-time assistance with meal preparation on a weekly, daily, or temporary basis as well as full-time with a live-in caregiver who can also perform many other helpful duties. We would be happy to match you with someone who can assist with your shopping and cooking needs consistent with any of your specific dietary requirements.