Nutritional Teaching for the Elderly
The process of aging is accompanied by natural changes in the structure and functioning of various organs, including the digestive system. Therefore, the basic requirements in nutrition include moderation, high biological value of food, and substances with the anti-sclerotic effect. Patients’ inability to comply with certain rules or malnutrition often leads to serious chronic diseases. In order to avoid such consequences, the elderly should strictly observe the principles of healthy nutrition and adhere to the diet. This paper aims to provide recommendations to the local elderly community based on their nutritional needs. A Teaching Plan The first step of the teaching plan is to inform patients of the need for nutrients. The elderly should meet the needs of their organism for nutrients that are a guarantee of protection from diseases. According to the research, old people need more proteins, carbohydrates, and fats (Pierce, 2014). Thus, the elderly organism lacks proteins due to the cessation of intensive physical work. Dying cells need such components for regeneration. The need for carbohydrates in a conventional formula of a balanced diet requires whole grains, potatoes, and other vegetables. The elderly should also use products that contain a lot of fiber and pectin. For example, fiber helps eliminate cholesterol from the body. Admittedly, the number of fats in the diet of the elderly should be limited because many researchers suggest that an excessive fat intake leads to the development of atherosclerosis (Danford & Munro, 2013). The second point of the plan is to teach the elderly how to choose vitamins. The literature reveals that vitamins that have a normalizing effect on the state of the vascular and nervous systems are of particular importance (Pierce, 2014). For example, the consumption of such vitamins as C, P, B12, and B6 is associated with the inhibition of the development of the sclerotic process (Danford & Munro, 2013). The third step is to arrange meetings where the elderly will learn about the importance of minerals. It will be based on the lecture that can inform patients that an important mineral element is magnesium that has antispasmodic and vasodilating effects, stimulates intestinal peristalsis, and improves biliary excretion (Pierce, 2014). The elderly should be aware that it has an effect on lowering the level of blood cholesterol. Consequently, to teach them that the lack of magnesium increases the amount of calcium that leads to the deposition of salts in the walls of blood vessels, joints, cartilage, and other tissues. According to Danford and Munro (2013), the daily requirement for magnesium is 400 mg, and its main sources in the human diet are cereal and bean products. The fourth stage is to provide diets for the elderly. They should adhere to the basic principles of nutrition that require taking meals strictly at the same time, limited amount of food, and the exclusion of long periods between meals. The literature reveals that the elderly should eat more fish that contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, cottage cheese, milk and seafood, as well as fruits and vegetables (Pierce, 2014). This diet helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and prevent its reabsorption from the intestine into the blood. A sample of a diet may include menus with different caloric levels. It is necessary to focus on low fat food and recipes. A Teaching Tool The best teaching tool for the elderly may be the intra-computer system that includes supplying information and illustrating documentation. It can maximize the quality of care and minimize human errors (Pierce, 2014). Moreover, it can offer clinical data required for evidence-based practice. The nurse should analyze findings in the literature and improve care, aiming to provide safety and a stepping-stone towards better care, and institute teaching techniques for the staff. Conclusion Thus, older people need special attention of health care professionals, who should not only examine their health, but also educate them on a proper diet. The elderly must understand that the process of aging is accompanied by natural changes in the structure and functioning of various organs, including the digestive system. Malnutrition often leads to serious diseases, and persons must know about their nutritional needs.

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