The body needs good fuel to function. As you age, nutrition becomes even more important as muscle mass starts to diminish. The majority of elderly see cooking as a chore, and as a result their nutritional decline is usually over a period of time. Taste buds begin to die as we age and food no longer tastes as good. Large portions of food can be overwhelming. Fresh fruits and veggies cut up are an excellent option, versus a bouillon cube and some crackers which provides no nutritional value (unless you have a sodium deficiency.) Yogurt, chicken, and eggs are also great sources of protein. Pasta, which is easy to eat can be eaten for a few meals. Food enhanced with seasonings are also encouraged.
A clean mouth facilitates pleasant eating. A dirty mouth will affect the taste of food. The mouth is in essence, an opening to the lungs. Bacteria in the mouth can migrate to the lungs, which can lead to various infections. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to heart disease.
Our bodies were designed to move. However, as we age movement begins to decrease. Everyone should be encouraged to move to the best of their ability. Even if that means a bed bound person sits up only a few times a day. The less you move, the harder it becomes to do so, and people become resistant to moving. It is a vicious cycle.
All of our bodies’ cells need fluid. Muscle is composed of a great deal of water. As we age, our need for thirst is diminished. Many medications also cause dehydration. Sips of cool water need to be provided throughout the day unless a health issue (such as kidney failure) prevents that. Elderly will not tell you they are thirsty if asked. That is why it needs to be handed and encouraged multiple times throughout the day.