Nutrition Tips to Keep Your Parents Healthy: Online Course Module 3

Are you watching an aging parent struggle with ongoing health issues that never seem to improve? Is mom or dad in and out of the hospital? If so,  poor nutrition may be the culprit. Learn why good nutrition is especially important for older adults with multiple health issues and get tips to keep your parents healthy

In this online caregiver program, caregiving expert Pamela D Wilson shares a step-by-step plan to identify and respond to nutritional concerns in elderly parents.

Tips to keep parents healthyMany things can affect the nutritional health of aging parents. These include medications, mood, physical activity, the senses of smell, taste, and feeling plus medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

With age, the body responds differently to food and has more difficulty absorbing nutrients. Learn about changes in the aging body and how chronic diseases can affect nutrition.

Find out how to request a nutritional evaluation from a primary care physician so that you can help loved ones feel better and stay healthy.

Research articles supporting this module are linked below in the text to make it easy for you to gain the knowledge you need to advocate for the care of elderly parents.

Success toward better health and nutrition means taking it one day at a time with the practical tips in this program.

The Effects of Aging on Nutrition and Activities of Daily Living

Module 3 in this online caregiver education program offers sequential step-by-step plans and processes to address the relationship between nutrition, chronic disease, and the aging body. Poor nutrition, which often goes unnoticed until serious health conditions worsen, can be identified early and addressed with simple actions.

The body’s immune system relies on good nutrition which includes physical exercise and taking vitamins and other supplements to support good health. A well-functioning immune system is critical for the health and well-being of older adults. Learn how family caregivers can support loved ones in their efforts to be nutritionally strong.

Learn More About the Other Seven Modules of Pamela’s Online Caregiver Education Program

Module Three: Activities of Daily Living and the Effects of Aging

Each section below links to the caregiver webinar videos on Pamela’s YouTube Channel.

tips to keep your parents healthy

By working through this online caregiver education program about nutritional tips to keep parents healthy and active, family caregivers will be able to:

  • Minimize health declines and frailty in older family members
  • Identify the health effects of poor nutrition and the relationships to chronic disease
  • Learn tips to manage medications that can affect the nutritional health of aging parents
  • Identify the value of a nutritional assessment and create steps to improve nutrition and the health of elderly loved ones

Click on the links below in PINK to watch the webinar videos and to view the slides that correspond to each part of the program.

Section 1: Learning About Health Concerns to Minimize Physical Declines

Tips to keep your parents healthy include taking an interest in managing diseases that can cause many day-to-day problems for the elderly. Learn why obtaining reliable information about health is important.

Caregivers can learn to identify the significance of self-care activities in response to chronic health diagnoses and create proactive plans to help elderly parents improve their health.

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Learn tips to problem-solve health conditions and the care of elderly parents. Family caregivers can learn to establish routines to help them feel more in control and less stressed about trying to manage caregiving tasks for elderly parents.

The planning tools suggested in this part can help you identify and create step-by-step processes to help elderly parents manage care needs.

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Section 2: Unknowns About Aging, Nutrition, and Chronic Disease

Why is nutrition important for the elderly? The elderly who are malnutritioned are more likely to be sick and suffer serious health issues including frequent hospitalizations and ongoing declines in health. In this e-course, family caregivers can learn why making nutrition a priority is essential to help elderly parents remain physically strong and healthy.

After participating in this part you should be able to relate chronic disease with the risks to nutritional health, recognize the importance of good nutrition for the elderly and focus on combining nutrition with physical activity to support the health of elderly parents.

Additional Resources:

Chronic Conditions in America:: Price and Prevalence. The Rand Corporation Essay, July 12, 2017.

Giner, M. et al. Correlation Between Malnutrition and Poor Outcome in Critically Ill Patients. Science Direct Vol 12, Issue 1, January 1996, P 23-29. https://doi.org/10.1016/0899-9007(95)00015-1

Hamm, J.M. et. al. The Detrimental Consequences of Overestimating Future Health in Late Life.Detrimental Consequences of Overestimating Future Health gbx074 J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci, 2019, Vol. 74, No. 3, June 13, 2017, 373-381. Doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbx074

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How to notice signs of poor nutrition in your parents. Elderly parents who have multiple chronic diseases are more likely to be malnourished. Learn signs that indicate poor nutrition and underlying health problems for parents and steps family caregivers can take to improve these conditions.

By understanding the link between aging, chronic disease, and nutrition you will be able to identify signs that might indicate malnutrition and know the steps to seek treatment and recommendations from healthcare providers.

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Why do the elderly get sick so easily? Learn why elderly parents have more frequent illnesses and health complications that can lead to hospitalizations and nursing home stays. Take actions to manage health conditions that weaken the immune systems of loved ones.

Family caregivers will be able to identify how malnutrition contributes to increased medical hear, gain empathy for the health struggles of aging parents, and how being proactive can minimize or help manage worsening health problems.

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Section 3: The Links Between Medications, Chronic Disease, and Nutrition

Is there a link between medications, chronic disease, and nutrition for the elderly? Learn 10 tips to manage medications for elderly parents. Many older adults take multiple medications.

Prescription medications have different effects on the body that include appetite, mood changes, muscle pain, dry mouth, thirst, and others. Learn what questions to ask at medical appointments and how to manage medications for elderly parents.

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Section 4: Practical Solutions for Improving Nutrition

How emotions affect eating habits in the elderly. Learn how to recognize nutritional concerns in elderly parents that relate to the senses of smell, taste and touch, and emotions. Plus detect and manage potentially harmful situations before they negatively affect a parent’s health.

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Additional Resources:

Tufts University and AARP Healthy Plate

Tufts University Nutrition Micro-Courses for those interested in more detailed information about current topics in food and nutrition for persons of all ages.

How to know if a parent’s nutrition is bad. Identifying links between medications, mood, and the senses can confirm the reasons a parent may be losing weight. Learn the information to present to your parent’s doctor to request a nutritional assessment and create a step-by-step plan to improve food and diet concerns.

If you have concerns about weight loss or overall health, talk to elderly parents about seeing the doctor to request a nutritional evaluation. After watching this webinar you will be able to identify questions to ask the doctor about medications, nutritional supplements, physical therapy, and other components that help aging adults stay healthy.

Additional Resources:

Note: these are tools to share with your parent’s physician that can help evaluate nutritional needs.

Malnutrition Screening Tool

Subjective Global Assessment Tool

Mini Nutritional Assessment

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This caregiver’s checklist of nutritional tips for elderly parents features over 30 ideas to help parents feel better and live healthier and more active lives. These simple actions can help family caregivers support better nutrition that includes paying attention to sensory, emotional, and social needs, the nutritional quality of food, medical care, weight monitoring, and physical activity.

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Interested in more tips to care for elderly loved ones. Keep moving forward and check out all of the other modules in this caregiving program.

If You Found This Module Helpful, Learn More About the Other 7 Modules 

 

 

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