As people age, metabolism slows and thirst may diminish. Older adults should drink water throughout the day. Smaller meals throughout the day, with a variety of foods from the different food groups, is a good idea.
Fats, sugars and salt should be used sparingly. Whole grains, darkly colored fruits and vegetables and legumes are recommended as they are “nutritionally dense.” Older people who are inactive may be less hungry, eat less food and therefore take in less nutrients and calories to fuel the body.
It is important to evaluate the nutritional status of an older individual especially as it directly impacts health conditions and medication use.
Some dietary researches stress the need for vitamin and mineral supplements in later years (for example, vitamins D, B-12 and calcium). However, the use of vitamins or supplements may impact health or other medications and their use should be discussed with your health care provider.
Consulting a “geriatric” trained dietitian or nutrition specialist is a good idea to get input on the specific needs of an individual give lifestyle, health problems, disabilities, medications and activity level.