Nutrition in Assisted Living and Retirement Communities

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Those who are responsible for caring for their parents often voice a concern over the quality of nutrition within assisted living and retirement communities. Assuming that a parent or elder is not able to properly care for themselves in the sense of being able to prepare healthy and nutritious meals, it can be very important to have someone on the staff at a facility available to cover these areas of concern instead. In previous years, nutrition took a less prominent role in assisted living and retirement communities because the facilities sought to only provide basic meals.

Studies and research have shown that seniors benefit greatly from being able to have access to healthy meals. This is especially so if they are dealing with health conditions which may require a special diet, such as someone who has Celiac’s Disease. Without the proper meals and nutrition, people who have these conditions can become very sick and may find that their health is compromised while they are living at the facility. As a result, more assisted living and retirement communities are focusing on adding nutritionists to their staff to ensure that seniors are getting the suitable meals that they need on a daily basis.

In terms of assisted living homes, the type of nutrition that is received can vary. Some assisted living homes have staff that essentially prepare ‘home-cooked’ meals in the complex on a regular basis. This can be a little more risky because there’s not always a nutritionist on the staff that is preparing the meal plan and these meals may end up being more basic depending on the staff’s cooking skills. Some of the higher quality assisted living facilities have cooks that focus on preparing meals based on meal plans, which ends up being a healthier option for seniors and provides them with more variety.

Of course, there is always the concern regarding what should be done about seniors who lose their appetite after transferring into a facility. This tends to be more common among older seniors who were not expecting to find themselves in an assisted living care home or those who used to live at home and now miss their family members during their transition. As one might expect, the facility itself cannot do anything to make the senior eat, so nutrition becomes a concern. However, if a doctor is contacted, the doctor may be able to prescribe medications and treatments to encourage appetite and remedy the problem.

Ultimately, most assisted living care homes and retirement communities are able to provide reliable and suitable nutrition to seniors. This makes them an ideal choice for seniors who are not too knowledgeable about nutrition or those who want to stop worrying about whether or not they are taking care of their bodies by eating the proper foods. Many seniors consider the guidance of a nutritionist to be very helpful in assisting them with improving their health and maintaining their weight.