Getting older is a fact of life and is something we have come to accept, but not taking care of our health in the process, can have a devastating effect on our quality of life. At Home Care Assistance, we put your health and wellbeing first, making sure that maintaining a balanced, nutritional diet is a fundamental pillar when it comes to your care. From the age of 65, weakness and frailty can begin to set in, which is why nutrition and more importantly, protein, plays a key role in maintaining strong bones and muscles, and ultimately allows us to function. Through our Balanced Care Method™ 1 we understand the importance of diet, exercise, mental engagement and social ties to reduce stress and create the best life. Considering the tenants of the Balanced Care Method™ every step of the way, we offer personal care assistance and lifestyle support including to seniors, of which nutrition, meal preparation and cooking is key.
Why do seniors need to eat more protein?
As we get older, our bodies require roughly 50% more protein than a younger adult, to better preserve healthy muscle mass and strength, to maintain a high functioning quality of life. By consuming protein and having a sufficient amount of it in our diet, also helps to increase the body’s immune functions, while at the same time reducing recovery times from illness, as well as helps balance hormones. Without it, our bodies start to break down muscle mass, and we gradually start losing bone strength, which slowly strips away the protection a high protein diet can provide. Maintaining our nutritional reserves as we age will have an impact on how we function – from getting in and out of a chair, doing things like gardening, or playing with our grandchildren. Even simple tasks like getting in and out of the shower or bath, are made easier with healthy, strong muscles and bones, along with a protein rich diet.
What is protein?
Protein is one of the foundational nutrients that make up our bodies. Every cell relies on protein to function including muscle, bones, internal organs as well as skin, hair and even nails. Protein in the form of animal or plant sources such as eggs, nuts, dairy, meat and legumes for example, is essential for healing, building and repairing cells and body tissue, especially as we age.
How much protein should seniors be consuming daily?
It is generally recommended that 10-35% of your calories should come from protein, but research has shown that these recommended amounts of protein may actually be too low for seniors, who may actually require approximately 1.0-1.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For example, if you weigh 70kg, this could mean that you will need to consume at least 70 – 90 grams of protein every day, regardless of your calorie intake. This can be split across meals, making it easier to consume in smaller, incremental portions.
Ways to increase your protein intake with every meal
When it comes to eating a meal, it is recommended that the protein source is consumed first, especially before the starches. Why? This is particularly important for those seniors who have Type 2 diabetes, as this can help regulate blood sugar and keep insulin levels from rising too high after a meal.
Increasing the amount of protein in your diet requires you to have a plan, and this starts with an awareness of your protein needs. Make a list of high protein foods that you love to eat, and at every meal, try to swap out a carbohydrate for a higher protein food. At Home Care Assistance, we can help you prepare meals, remind you of your daily protein intake and recommend nutritious, high protein alternatives when it comes to planning breakfast, lunch and dinner . Starting is easier than you think and as simple as adding nuts and seeds to your breakfast cereal, starting your day with nutritious eggs, or making a breakfast bowl with Greek yogurt, which already gives you 17-20 grams of protein!
As we age, it becomes increasingly important to start eating mindfully to achieve and maintain optimal health through a high, protein-rich diet.
Support of an in-home care agency like Home Care Assistance, can bring enormous benefit and comfort to your quality of life while living independently at home. Home Care Assistance has viable solutions when it comes to supporting independent living. For more information, get in touch with a Home Care Assistance near me today.
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As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.