About 84 million people in the U.S. will be age 65 and over by 2050. As adults approach this age group exercises, socialization, and independent living become more necessary. Unfortunately, all it takes is a fall or an illness to make a healthy person start to decline. Not only will it limit daily activities, but can ultimately lead to a loss of independence.
Lower Body Weakness:
Preserving muscle strength is very important. Without muscle strength, seniors have a high risk of falling or becoming less likely to perform daily activities. Elderly people may have muscle weakness due to vitamin D deficiency. Risk factors that play a key role in vitamin D inefficiencies for seniors include: decreased dietary intake, diminished sunlight exposure, and impaired intestinal absorption. Falling due to muscle weakness greatly reduces the ability to perform daily tasks by causing injury to the hips, forearm, humerus, and pelvis. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “Vitamin D deficiency has been reported to affect predominantly the weight-bearing anti-gravity muscles of the lower limb, which are necessary for postural balance and walking.”
Lack of Nutrition:
The lack of nutrition in older adults stems from a combination of physical, social, and mental issues. Issues initiated by malnutrition can lead to numerous health concerns such as: muscle weakness, weakened immune system, and higher risk of hospitalization. One way to counter malnutrition is to eat foods packed with nutrients such as: fruits, vegetables, yogurt, cereal, and egg whites. Social interaction is very important in seniors, especially since it tends to decrease as people age. Social separation in older adults when eating may cause them to not enjoy meals as much, and can be the reason why they lose interest in eating. At Spring Hills Senior Communities, one of our signature touches is our farm to plate dining program and a weekly changing menu that offers foods high in nutrition.