Care UK shares the secrets to keeping well in later life

At the root of your wellness is healthy eating and staying active. And the perfect time to consider what you eat, and your activity levels, is right now.

Top tips on eating well

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is important as we get older.

As well as boosting our energy levels, getting enough of the right food and staying hydrated will keep bones and muscles strong, and minds active.

Our appetite and sense of taste and smell change as we get older – which explains why we may lose interest in food. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all enjoy what we eat.

Chefs at Care UK, the award-winning national provider of care for older people, share their tips on eating well, and staying hydrated:

  • Adapt recipes to add sweeter or stronger flavours. Ginger, garlic, chilli, herbs and fresh lemon or lime, add flavor without loading up on salt or sugar
  • Stimulate the appetite with smaller, more frequent meals – such as cheese and crackers, or a fruit salad. And if you fancy rice pudding for breakfast, go with it. What’s important is getting the nutrition you need
  • If your appetite gets out of sync with mealtimes, snacks help plug the gap
  • Don’t feel tied to producing plated meals. Fruit smoothies, milkshakes, and finger foods such as chicken goujons, are great alternatives
  • Add banana and full-fat yogurt to smoothies/milkshakes to boost the calorie count
  • Cook your favorite meals in bulk and freeze them to save time and effort
  • If you struggle to eat a lot, try eating while you’re doing something else, such as watching TV. Playing soft background music may also help you to eat more.

For more top tips about healthy eating in older age, download Care UK’s Eating as we age – a free guide to eating well and staying hydrated.

getting active

Residents are supported to stay flexible by attending Care UK activity classes
Residents are supported to stay flexible by attending Care UK activity classes

Did you know those aged 65 and over are in the most sedentary age group – typically spending ten hours or more each day sitting, or lying down?

While that may sound relaxing, you could be setting yourself up for problems further down the line.

As our bodies inevitably decline in function, the more inactive you become, and the more health problems you’ll face.

Here are five benefits of getting active:

  1. Physical activity improves immune function and lowers your risk of developing many common diseases
  2. Exercise aids sleep and improves cognitive function
  3. Low impact activity can strengthen muscles, relieving pressure on painful joints and even easing joint inflammation
  4. Strength-building exercises can restore bone density, resulting in better balance and flexibility, and fewer falls
  5. Joining classes, clubs and groups can help combat social isolation

How to get active

  • Find at least one or two forms of activity that you enjoy, available all-year-round
  • Build up activity levels gradually. If you have a medical condition or are unsure what type of physical activity is appropriate, first talk to your GP or physiotherapist
  • Aim for 30 minutes of activity at least 5 days a week
  • Try to include a mix of aerobic exercise to build strength, support your heart, and enhance your balance (such as walking or gardening), strength/resistance training (such as water aerobics), and stretching/flexibility exercises (such as yoga and Pilates). ).

Providing award-winning care

Care UK offers tailored, expert residential, nursing, dementia and respite care trusted by families for over 40 years – delivering exceptional care across the UK at more CQC Outstanding-rated care homes than any other provider.

Care UK has four homes based in Manchester and the surrounding areas:

If you’re considering care for yourself or a loved one, discover how Care UK leads the way by visiting the website.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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