One reason adult children begin searching for senior living for a parent is concerns about dining and nutrition. When creating well-balanced meals becomes a struggle for a senior their overall health may begin to decline. Nutrition for seniors can be especially challenging if their physician has prescribed a special diet for a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
The good news is some assisted living communities, including Elmcroft Senior Living, can accommodate special dietary requests. Whether it is following a kosher diet plan or a mechanical diet, nutrition for seniors is an important part of our dining wellness program.
What many families are unaware of is that the cost of meals is usually included in the senior’s monthly fee. No worries about budgeting for additional expenses related to dining/food unless it is for small treats and beverages the resident wants to keep in their own apartment.
At Elmcroft, special diets typically fall in to one of five categories based on what a resident’s physician prescribes:
Soft Diet: This diet is often for people who are transitioning from a liquid diet back to a more traditional diet. It might be after a surgery or a prolonged bout of an intestinal virus. Whatever the cause, our dietary team can accommodate it. Foods such as cooked vegetables and fruits, yogurt and softened breads help lower the risk of a senior choking. A physician may also restrict a soft diet to foods that aren’t high in fat or too spicy.
Pureed Foods: Similar to a soft diet, this is when a doctor prescribes pureed foods only. An example of someone who requires a pureed diet might be senior who has suffered a stroke and is having difficulty swallowing. Accommodating a pureed diet requires dietary staff to grind or blend foods before they are served.
Consistent Carbohydrates: If an older adult has diabetes or another condition that causes blood sugar to fluctuate, their physician might order a consistent carbohydrates diet. The goal for seniors following this type of diet is to consistently eat the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal every day. Doing so helps stabilize blood sugar.
Limited Vitamin K: When a resident has a history of heart problems, they may need to take Coumadin. This is a blood thinner that helps prevent blood clots from forming. While vitamin K is an important nutrient for the body, it can keep Coumadin from being effective. A cardiologist may prescribe a limited vitamin K diet to restrict a senior’s intake of spinach, collard greens, kale and other leafy greens.
Allergies: Elmcroft’s dietary team can also help older adults who have allergies to foods. It might be they require a gluten-free diet or are lactose-intolerant and need to avoid dairy. Nuts are another allergy children and adults of all ages suffer from.
The bottom line?
Adult children who are searching for senior living can feel confident knowing chef-inspired meals to accommodate all dietary needs are just one of the many benefits of Elmcroft Senior Living’s dining program!