Why Seniors Should Reduce Their Sodium Consumption
September 5, 2017
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
No matter how long you have been caring for your elderly parent, you have likely heard that helping them to eat a healthy diet is one of the most important things that you can do to protect their body and keep them functioning at the highest level possible as they age.
There are many recommendations given to elders and their family caregivers to help them to choose a healthy, balanced diet, but one that is often emphasized is to reduce their sodium consumption. From cutting down on prepared foods to flavoring foods with other options such as vinegar, herbs, and spices, trimming down the amount of sodium that they eat is something that is repeated frequently.
Why Seniors Should Keep Their Sodium Consumption Low
Sodium is an essential nutrient for the body, but most people consume far more sodium every day than they need. Consuming too much sodium can contribute to several health challenges. Sodium causes the body to retain fluids, leading to swelling. This also puts excessive strain on the heart and the entire cardiovascular system. This is often a major contributing factor to high blood pressure and heart disease.
One thing to keep in mind is that most of the time, consuming too much sodium does not actually happen because your parent sprinkles too much salt on their food. Instead, the majority of sodium comes from prepared and processed foods. This makes it critical that you take the time to read labels and make good choices about these foods so that your parent can reduce high blood pressure and protect their heart.
Starting elder care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for your aging parent throughout the course of your caregiver journey with them. An elder care services provider can be with your parent on a fully customized schedule to ensure that they get all of the care, assistance, and support that they need to handle their individual needs, challenges, and limitations. This helps your parent to live a life that is happy, healthy, safe, and comfortable, and to pursue as much independence, activity, and fulfillment as possible as they age in place.
When it comes to dealing with health challenges, this elder care provider can help your parent to understand the guidance and instructions that their doctor gives to them, and support good lifestyle choices. This includes giving them valuable reminders to keep them compliant with their prescriptions and instructions so that they can manage their condition in the way that is best for them and that will give them the most benefit.
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