Physiological Changes of Senior Citizens
I’d like to share with you some important information about the physiological changes we experienced as we grow older and become a Senior Citizen. Adults over 50 vary more in health status among themselves than do persons in any other age group. This means that chronological age is not useful in predicting physical health status (psychological age). Among senior citizens aged 70 and over, some are totally independent, healthy people, whereas others are frail and require almost total care. To predict the nutritional problems of a senior citizen, it is necessary to know the extent of physiological change caused by aging and whether the person shows early warning signs of long-term poor nutrition. As you examine how aging affects body systems and how these changes contribute to nutritional health, consider the suggested ways, to lessen health risks.
I read this in the book, “Perspectives in Nutrition” by Wardlow, Hampl and DiSilvestro. It includes the Recommended Diet for each deficiency.
CHANGES EXPERIENCED BY SENIOR CITIZENS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Decrease in appetite and food intake. Monitor weight and strive to eat enough to maintain healthy weight. Consider liquid meal by grinding nutrient-dense food and nutritious food products in Liquid and Bar form. Check with your doctor for a cure to increase your appetite.
2. Decline in sense of taste and smell. Vary your diet, eat lots of spicy, highly seasoned foods and use potent condiments that don’t irritate stomach. Experiment with herbs and spices. Check with your doctor for viral infection and nasal disorders.
3. Loss of Teeth. Work with a dentist to maximize chewing ability; provide energy-dense snacks; modify food consistency; use food chopper and grinder when necessary.
4. Decreased sense of thirst. Consume about 8 cups of fluid each day, and watch for evidence of dehydration (e.g. minimal urine output or dark color). Add regular physical activity.
5. Constipation. Consume enough fiber daily, choosing primarily fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; required fluid needs. Consider ingesting nutritional fat like virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil to stimulate peristaltic mass movement, which in turn stimulates defecation.
6. Decline in lactose production. Limit milk serving size at each use; consume yogurt or cheese; use reduced lactose-free products; seek other calcium sources.
7. Iron-deficiency anemia. Include some lean meat and iron-fortified foods in the diet; ask physician to monitor blood iron status.
8. Decline in liver function. Consume alcohol in moderation, if at all; avoid excess vitamin A consumption.
9. Decline in Insulin function. Maintain healthy body weight, nutrients needs and perform regular physical activity.
11. Decline in immune function.
Meet nutrient needs, especially protein, vitamin E, Vitamin B-6, zinc, glutathione and perform regular physical activity.
12. Decline in vision. Consume fruits, vegetables, and whole grains regularly to gain the potential benefits of carotenoids, as well as vitamin C and E and the mineral zinc (wear sunglasses as well in sunny conditions and don’t smoke). Reduce your TV and computer viewing. Use proper lighting when reading and computer encoding.
15. Decrease in cardiovascular function. Keep blood lipids and blood pressure within desirable range, using diet changes and medications when needed; stay physically active; remain in a healthy body weight range.
16. Decrease in bone mass. Meet nutrient needs, especially protein, calcium, and vitamin D (regular sun exposure helps meet needs for vitamin D); perform regular physical and progressive resistance (strength training) activities, and men/women should consider use of approved medications for osteoporosis like alendronate.
17. Decrease in mental function. Strive for lifelong learning; there is no age limit in learning new technologies, obtain adequate sleep; socialize; perform regular physical activity and follow a healthy dietary pattern.
The more independent, healthy years senior citizens live, the better life can be for them. Diseases that commonly accompany old-age-osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease for example – are not an inevitable part of aging. Many can be prevented or managed, and now reversed.
*Source: Perspectives in Nutrition, 2004, by Wardlow, Hampl and DiSilvestro
Footnote: In order to give more information on each article, I added links on the underlined words. Click it, if you want to learn more. These links were personally pre-selected to advance your research on the subject and at the same time could make you healthier. Good luck!
To succeed at anything in life, you don’t need to be a genius, but you do need a good plan…Just go on and don’t quit! Thank you.
Remember, you are the architect of your body.
Submitted on 2011/05/11 at 3:17 pm
This is the exact info. i need, thanks dude.