Bolstering muscle and bone strength can help seniors reduce their risk of falling by promoting mobility and agility. If you are concerned that your senior loved one is looking frail or he or she has fallen in the past, these four foods can strengthen the body and help your loved one feel steadier on his or her feet.
1. Low-Fat Dairy
These types of foods, including yogurt, cheese, and milk, are a critical component of bone health. In addition to providing the calcium needed to maintain strong bones, some low-fat dairy products are also fortified with vitamin D. According to Annapolis elderly care professionals, many seniors, especially those at risk for osteoporosis, should strive for 1,500 milligrams of calcium a day.
2. Dark Leafy Greens
In addition to providing a host of antioxidants and other disease-fighting vitamins, dark, leafy greens are an important source of calcium. Try incorporating spinach, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, or bok choy to give bones a healthy boost.
As we age, we naturally begin to lose muscle mass. According to researchers from the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles, older adults should eat protein to combat this condition, known as sarcopenia. Seniors should eat four ounces of fish, chicken or turkey a day, along with a protein-packed snack. Vegetarian proteins such as soy are also great.
4. Fatty Fish
These types of fish, including tuna, mackerel, and salmon, provide the vitamin D the body needs to effectively use calcium to strengthen bones. Without vitamin D, the effects of calcium on the body are limited. If you find your loved one doesn’t get enough vitamin D through diet and spending time in the sunlight, he or she may want to consider taking a dietary supplement. Talk with your loved one’s physician if he or she is at risk for osteoporosis to find out if supplements are a good option.
Learn more about senior health and nutrition from the friendly staff at Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers in Annapolis are trained in the Balanced Care Method, which focuses on nutrition, exercise, social interaction, and purpose and can be included in all care services at no additional cost. Call a dedicated Care Manager at 443-302-2771 and request a complimentary in-home consultation.