March 15th, 2015
Nutrition Across the Lifespan
An Elderly Person is classified as a person of the chronological age of 65 years and older. Persons of 65 years and older are said to be in late adulthood. With age, their senses begin to dull and without corrective glasses, nearly half the elderly population would be legally blind. Their hearing also diminishes, especially the ability to detect high-pitched sounds. Elderly people who have not been taking care of their health face major health problems at this stage in their lives and are often relegated to homes where they are looked after by nurses and caretakers.
Older people’s energy needs are a balance of ...view middle of the document...
2 mg | 1.2 mg |
| Selenium (Se) | 60 μg | 60 μg |
| Iodine (I) | 140 μg | 140 μg |
Older Persons (65+) | Male | Female |
Vitamins | A (Retinol) | 600 μg | 600 μg |
| B1 (Thiamin) | 0.8 mg | 0.8 mg |
| B2 (Riboflavin) | 1.1 mg | 1.1 mg |
| B3 (Niacin) | 12 mg | 12 mg |
| B6 (Pyridoxine) | 1.2 mg | 1.2 mg |
| B12 (Cobalamin) | 1.5 μg | 1.5 μg |
| C (Ascorbic Acid) | 40-60 mg | 40-60 mg |
| D2 (Calciferol & D3 (Cholecalciferol) | 7.5 g | 7.5 g |
The importance of these is that fibre intake should be increased gradually as a sudden change from a low to high fibre diet can cause diarrhoea, cramps, flatulence and/or constipation. Older people are particularly at risk of dehydration due to a diminished ability to sense thirst, particularly those of a very advanced age or illness which is why adequate fluid intake is important. Low intakes of iron can occur in elderly people living alone, particularly if they do not prepare hot meals. Sodium not only helps maintain healthy fluid balance, it also contributes to proper muscle contraction and nerve impulse conduction. Calcium helps to prevent the bone loss that occurs as part of the natural ageing process.
The vitamins are also very important, too. As well as helping to increase iron absorption, vitamin C aids in wound healing (including pressure sores) and helps to fight infections. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism and is important to nerve function. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is a part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism and is also important for normal vision and skin health. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is a part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism and very important for nervous system, digestive system, and skin health. Pantothenic acid and Biotin are a part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is a part of an enzyme needed for protein metabolism and also helps make red blood cells. Folic acid is a part of an enzyme needed for making DNA and new cells, especially red blood cells. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is a part of an enzyme needed for making new cells and is important to nerve function. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is an antioxidant, part of an enzyme needed for protein metabolism, important for immune system health and aids in iron absorption. Vitamin A (and beta-carotene) are needed for vision, healthy skin and mucous membranes, bone and tooth growth, immune system health. Vitamin D is needed for proper absorption of calcium and is stored in bones. Vitamin E is an antioxidant as well as an agent in protecting cell walls. Vitamin K is needed for proper blood clotting.
There are many food sources for each of these as well. Good sources of dietary protein include red meat four times a week, fish twice a week and poultry once or twice a week. Eggs, cheese and pulses (peas, beans and lentils) are other sources of protein which can be used as alternatives.
To increase fibre intake in the diet...