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Nutrition and Hydration Week 2022

Updated: Mar 15


IT'S NUTRITION AND HYDRATION WEEK!


There has never been a more important time to raise awareness of the importance of eating and drinking well in later life, with 3 million people at risk of malnutrition in the UK.


Preventing malnutrition and dehydration improves health and well-being and helps to reduce the burden on the health and social care services in treating and supporting those suffering from under nutrition and dehydration.


NUTRITION


As you get older, eating well can help improve your mental sharpness, boost your energy levels, and increase your resistance to illness. These senior diet and nutrition tips can help.

  • Avoid empty calories. These are foods with lots of calories but few nutrients, such as chips, sweets, baked goods and alcohol. Instead, opt for whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.

  • Pick foods that are low in cholesterol and fat. You especially want to try to avoid saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are usually fats that come from animals.

  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Break the apple and banana rut and go for color-rich pickings like berries or melons. Aim for 2-3 servings a day. When it comes to veggies, make them more appetizing by drizzling them with olive oil, sprinkling with goat cheese, or frying with garlic or chili flake.

  • Choose calcium for bone health. Maintaining bone health as you age depends on adequate calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Good sources include milk, yogurt, cheese or non-dairy sources such as tofu, broccoli, almonds, and kale.

  • Vary your sources of protein. Eating enough high-quality protein can improve your mood, boost your resistance to stress, anxiety, and depression, and even help you think more clearly. Vary your sources of protein instead of relying on just red meat by including more fish, beans, peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds in your diet.

  • Eat more fiber. Dietary fiber can do so much more than keep you regular. It can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, improve the health of your skin, and help you to lose weight.

  • If you struggle to eat enough at mealtimes, add some healthy snacks throughout the day to help you get more nutrients and calories.

  • Be physically active. If you have started losing your appetite, exercising may help you to feel hungrier.

Even if you live alone, you can make healthy meals more pleasurable by:

  • Shopping with others. Shopping with a friend can give you a chance to catch up without falling behind on your chores. It’s also a great way to share new meal ideas and save money on discount deals like “buy one, get the second half price”.

  • Cooking with others. Invite a friend to share cooking responsibilities- one prepares the starter, the other dessert, for example. Cooking with others can be a fun way to deepen your relationships.

  • Making mealtimes a social experience. The simple act of talking to a friend or loved over the dinner table can play a big role in relieving stress and boosting mood. Gather the family together regularly and stay up to date on everyone’s lives. Invite a friend, co-worker, or neighbour over.


HYDRATION


Water helps you digest your food, absorb nutrients, and get rid of waste. As you get older, you might lose your sense of thirst. Also, medicines you're taking or health conditions may make it more likely that you're not getting enough water.


If you have trouble getting around, it might be hard to get to the washroom quickly. This can lead to incontinence, which sometimes makes people avoid drinking. Keep reading for tips below on how to improve water intake.


  • Sip on drinks throughout the day. Get a reusable water bottle with a straw and fill it with plain water. Take it with you wherever you go and sip it throughout the day. Sometimes using a straw is easier, and you might be surprised at how much you drink.

  • Have a full glass of water when you take a pill. If you take medications at different times of the day, this can be a great opportunity to get more water.

  • Have a cup of low-fat soup as an afternoon snack. Broths and soups count as fluid intake toward your daily goal. Soup is a great snack that can help keep you hydrated.

  • Freshen up your water. Sometimes adding a few slices of lemon or orange or some ice cubes can give water a fresh taste. This can make it easier to drink more.

  • Take sips of water between bites of your meal. Take some time to add fluids while you eat. These sips can add up to better hydration.

  • Eat soft, wet foods that have high water content. These can be foods like yogurt, gelatin desserts, pureed fruit, and custard.

  • Set a daily tea appointment with a friend. Taking a break for a healthy drink with a friend can be an easy and enjoyable way to get more fluids.

  • Keep drinking water if you have incontinence. If you have incontinence or you’re up a lot in the night to use the washroom, don’t stop drinking water. This can cause you to get dehydrated quickly. Instead, see your doctor for treatment.


And of course, if you're still struggling to drink enough or are caring for someone who needs extra support when you're not around, there are always tools to help such as our Hydracup!


If you’re interested in learning more about proper hydration and nutrition, join our webinar on Thursday 17th March at 2pm! Find out more and sign up

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