It seems somewhat common that as we age our digestive system changes. Considering how complex this system is, it is no surprise! Since digestion begins in the mouth let’s start there. Poor fitting dentures or bad teeth can make it very difficult to eat. This can result in the need for a soft diet. When our food is not chewed properly there is a greater risk of aspiration. Many elderly people don’t eat some foods for fear of choking. Have your dentures checked annually or more if needed and visit the dentist.
As we age the digestive enzymes in our stomach can diminish causing stomach pain and gas. Luckily there are digestive enzymes that can be added to your routine that will help. Of course, discuss these with your doctor first.
Another necessary part of the digestive system is the intestines. Much research has been done on the benefits of probiotics in this area. Many medications can cause an imbalance in our intestinal flora. Antibiotics are particularly guilty of this imbalance. Adding probiotics can greatly increase your digestive health.
Maintaining digestive health is so important as we age because we need the nutrients food provides for health and healing. If we are unable to properly digest food, we can become ill and malnourished.
If you or a loved one are struggling in this area, another suggestion may be assistance with meal preparation. Family Private Care can provide care providers to shop and prepare food to the preferences of senior citizens and the disabled. Feel free to contact us about your in-home care needs.