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Why Seniors Should Eat Protein Instead of Drink It

According to a growing consensus among experts, elderly people should consume more protein-rich meals while decreasing weight, managing a chronic or acute disease, or anticipating hospitalization. However, if you or a Senior Home Care services provider takes care of a senior, you know it can be difficult to not only encourage them to eat but getting them to eat healthy choices.

Not all children have the time to be with their senior parents, which shouldn’t make you feel guilty. Even when you cannot be with your parents 24/7 to help, there are other options for you to choose from. Senior home care can help encourage your seniors to eat and remind them of their regular eating routine. Senior home care is something many families utilize because the older population is choosing to age in place.

There are many challenges to living at home while growing older, but nutrition can be one of the most difficult things to deal with. Under stressful conditions, aging bodies metabolize protein more slowly and need more of it to maintain muscle mass and strength, bone health, and other critical physiological processes. Unfortunately, seniors may experience more stress than they realize.

Experts say even healthy seniors need extra protein to maintain muscle mass. Decreased appetite, dental troubles, diminished taste, swallowing difficulty, and financial constraints cause up to one-third of elderly adults to undereat.

Why Seniors Should Eat More Protein

Studies show that older seniors who eat more protein are less likely to lose “functioning” abilities such as dressing, getting out of bed, and climbing stairs. It may help them age in place better than those who consume less protein, but where is the proof?

A 2018 study of nearly 2,900 seniors revealed that those who ate the most protein had a 30% lower risk of becoming functionally impaired than those who ate the least. More research is required but it is true that keeping up nutrition requirements of aging can drastically help a senior stay independent for much longer.

Why Protein Shakes May Not Be The Best

Some seniors may not be able to eat everything they want, and that can cause a limit on what food to purchase for your parents. There are times when protein shakes may be the only way to get a good amount of protein in a senior, and it may be easier for them to consume because there is no chewing.

However, there are some things to consider about protein shakes.

  • They are not always healthy.

  • They can be filled with sugar.

  • It can cause digestive issues.

  • Some may have super high calories.

You should keep in mind that these problems aren’t concerns for all seniors. Some seniors may not have problems digesting lactose and have no digestive issues, while others need the higher calories because they’re not eating enough.

However, not all protein shakes are good for the body. It’s important to carefully read the macronutrients to understand how much sugar is in a shake, as well as salt, carbs, protein, and other information important for a senior to know. When in doubt, ask the senior doctor for more information about what vegetables have the highest amount of protein or if a protein shake is a better option.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Home Care in Leesburg, VA, please contact the caring staff at Decena Home Care, LLC today. 571-508-7144


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