Elderly Nutrition

Topics: Nutrition, Obesity, Old age Pages: 6 (1714 words) Published: April 18, 2007
I decided to write my paper on elderly nutrition. I
have chosen this topic because I believe nutrition is
important at all ages now, especially in those of the
elderly. Fattening foods are around more now than ever, so
the problem of obesity is getting out of control. Obesity
as we all know causes heart attacks and other such medical
People are not noticing the problem anymore until the
worst happens. "Everyone thinks that heart disease always
happens to someone else, until it happens to them," says
Christopher Cates, M.D., director of a Heart Center in
Atlanta. Sixty-two-year-old Jack Andre says having a heart
attack in March 2003 was like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat. "It brought a lot of things to my attention
that I never thought about before," he says. He was
overweight, didn't exercise, and often ate high-fat foods.
But he never connected his lifestyle to his heart.
Statistics show that every year more than 1 million people
have heart attacks, about 13 million Americans have coronary heart disease, and about half a million people die from it
each year. The one dying are the elderly whose bodies are
not as strong as those who are younger. Heart disease is
mostly known as a "man's disease" these days. Patrice
Nickens, M.d., leader in a cardiovascular medicine
department says, "We want women to know that heart disease
is not a man's disease. Rather, heart disease is the
leasing cause of death for women, and heart disease is
preventable and treatable." I am throwing in these
statistics because nutrition is the cause of these diseases
and once it again it is important to take care of ourselves
and more importantly the elderly.
The Department of Health and Human Services offers some
suggestion for the elderly as far as what they can eat.
Many times they have trouble chewing foods like meat, fresh
fruits and vegetables. So the department suggests that the
elderly try fruit juices, vegetable juices, ground meat,
eggs, and cooked cereals instead. Another issue for the
elderly a lot of times is having stomach problems, like too
much gas, this causes them to stay away from foods they
think causes the problem. This means that they are missing
out on important nutrients, like vitamins and calcium. I
often has residents complaining of this problem when I
worked at a nursing home. So, I found some foods to try
instead are; creamed soups, pudding, yogurt and cheeses
instead of milk. Then once again vegetable and fruits
juices instead of raw or cooked vegetables, etc.
Another problem that stops the elderly from eating
right is the fact that they can not always go out and shop
like the could have at a younger age. Some ways I found to
help those in need out are by; Asking a church for volunteer help, asking a family member or neighbor to shop for you,
hire home health workers, or there are services such as
Meals on Wheels that can provide such help.
I looked up some information on Meals on Wheels because
I was interested in seeing the eligibility's and services
available. While there is no means test for participation
in the Elderly Nutrition Program, services are targeted to
elderly people (i.e., people age 60 or older) with the
greatest economic or social need, with special attention
given to low-income minorities. As far as cost goes,
generally, there is no mandatory cost for meals delivered.
The meals are provided on a suggested contribution basis,
which means that no one is denied service because of
inability to pay. The main reason for researching this
program is because I wanted to see whether the food is
nutritious or not. I found that the programs offer a
regular hot, regular diet meal. Some programs, however,
offer special diets such as low sodium, low fat, lactose
free, religious/ethnic meals, pureed, and additional
Another program offered to the elderly is one called
the Elderly...
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