elderly woman being served a mealAs we age, proper nutrition becomes even more important to our health. In particular, people over 50 years old should follow strict USDA food patterns that incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and healthy fats. At West Hartford Health & Rehabilitation Center, we understand the importance of meeting the nutritional needs of each senior in our facility, from short-term rehab patients to long-term residents.

How do we develop our menu to accommodate everyone?

Two Key Factors

Although there are many healthy habits seniors should follow, two are key in the aging process: hydration and protein intake. We encourage our residents to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to prevent the effects of dehydration, including confusion, muscle spasms and fatigue. It is recommended that seniors drink two liters of liquid a day – this can include more than water!

Additionally, a low protein diet can lead to a weakened immune system, increased risk of falls and broken bones, infections, difficulty healing, easy bruising and loss of appetite. Small portions of lean meats, dairy products, nuts and beans are essential in a senior’s diet to prevent these risks.

Meetings with the Dining Staff

At West Hartford Health & Rehabilitation Center, each new resident has the opportunity to meet with our dining staff, including our registered dieticians who have 20 years of experience. During this meeting, medical history and meal preferences are reviewed, so each meal of the day reflects the needs of the resident. For example, a senior may have difficulty chewing or digesting certain foods. The most important part about our menu development is making sure that each resident’s nutritional well-being is optimized for health and satisfaction. That is why we encourage resident feedback and make accommodations to the best of our ability.

When seeking skilled nursing care for a loved one, a facility’s meal plan should be a vital part of your decision. At West Hartford Health & Rehabilitation Center, you can rest assured that each resident’s nutritional needs are surpassed in quality and taste! Contact us today to schedule a tour.