A recent Time Magazine article stated that “New recommendations for U.S. dietary guidelines included the surprise suggestion that cholesterol should not be a nutrient of special concern—but added that sugar and saturated fat are still worth worrying about.” Doctors also say that if we cut out processed food and focus on eating whole foods, the instance of disease and chronic health conditions will decrease.
With all of the discussion about a healthy lifestyle, the focus tends to be on younger generations to keep them from becoming obese as they age. But, truthfully, it is essential for the elderly to maintain a healthy diet.
It is common for this segment of the population to experience a loss of appetite as they age. Not only do they experience a slowing of their metabolism and reduction in physical activity, but they may also take medication that affects their appetite or forget to eat because of dementia and forgetfulness. For some, they may eat very little or even nothing at all for a couple of days if given the opportunity – especially when living alone.
That is where living in a senior living community can prove to be an enormous help. Most communities offer dining services with excellent, healthy meal options to ensure that those living there get the nourishment they need. Following are some of the ways senior living communities focus on nutrition:
Three Balanced Meals. Senior living communities include meals prepared by expert chefs who create delicious, fresh, and healthy options that all the residents enjoy. Many communities create an atmosphere in the dining room where residents can relish the camaraderie of others while each part of the meal is brought to them in a style similar to five-star dining.
Proper Nutrition. As people get older they become deficient in vitamins and minerals that are essential to proper health, specifically Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. Not only do they provide three balanced meals, but also dining services at most senior living communities focus on ensuring that residents get the recommended allowances of vitamins and supplements. More often than not, nutritionists review menu plans to give them a stamp of approval from their perspective.
Dining is an Experience. Depending on the community, dining is typically done similarly to a high-end restaurant where everyone is seated at tables and residents pick from a prepared menu of several options for a particular meal. Additionally, residents have the choice of sitting where and with whom they would like. Mealtimes are social times for most of the residents, providing a great opportunity for them to get to know their neighbors better.
Chef’s Participation with Residents. Just like in a restaurant, the chef at most senior living communities comes out before serving to go over the menu and describe each item to entice residents to look forward to their meal. As they eat, the chef also likes to go to each table and talk with residents. Because senior living communities are close-knit, the chef makes every effort to get to know the residents on a personal level. This adds special warmth to the residents, making them feel as special as they are.
Chef Accommodates Dietary Restrictions. Overall, most any chefs will prepare meals as healthy as possible by using different seasonings and spices in place of salt and preparing meals that are not laden with fat. But for those who have specific dietary restrictions, the chef is usually able to accommodate each meal to meet those needs.
Special Meals and Events. Senior living communities love to host dances, parties, and other events especially special meals around the holidays. Even during these times, great care and preparation go into making sure that the food is healthy and nutritious not to mention tasty.
Food and diet are essential to maintain optimum health. Independent living communities understand this and work hard to ensure residents get balanced nutrition. Discovery Village at Twin Creeks offers senior living programs that include Sensational Dining. This program makes everyone feel like they are eating at a 5-star restaurant every day. To learn more about our community and programs, contact Discovery Village at Twin Creeks by calling 972.440.1218.