The title is probably misleading…seniors should maintain proper nutritional intake year round. But during summer months, many times the heat and humidity effect energy levels, and appetite. Similar to water intake, sometimes elders need to eat proper foods even when they may not be “hungry”.

Consume More Protein. Why does your doctor recommend this?

Without enough protein, your body struggles to maintain its immune system and muscles. This increases the risk of infections and pressure sores, falls and broken bones, and can make movement challenging.

Protein deficiency in seniors is a rising concern and can cause problems with wound healing, dental issues, easy bruising, fatigue and decreased appetite. Protein foods usually require the ability to cook and chew, and also, eating enough protein may help those trying to lose weight more successful.

Research indicates that seniors may need more protein intake than has been previously assumed. Make sure your adult parents get enough by eating a good protein source at each meal and at snacks. If elders have difficulty chewing or swallowing protein, know that there are many ways to drink protein as well. Milk, yogurt, soy milk, protein smoothies and some nutrition supplements can be great sources of protein, also.

Some tips for meals:
Breakfast — use low fat milk or soy milk instead of water – whether for hot or cold cereal
Lunch — add beans or chick peas to your salad (or soup)
Dinner — finish the protein on your plate (turkey, meat, chicken, fish) before starting on the fruits, vegetables, starches and dessert.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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