Navigating the Conversation: Discussing Senior Living After the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for joy, reflection, and spending precious moments with loved ones. However, it can also be a period when we notice changes in the health and well-being of our family members, especially as they age. If you’ve spent the holidays with a loved one and observed signs that they may need extra assistance or can no longer live independently at home, initiating a conversation about moving into a senior living community is a delicate but crucial step.

Here are some thoughtful tips on how to approach this conversation with empathy, respect, and understanding:

1. Choose the Right Time and Place: Begin the conversation in a quiet and comfortable environment where you can talk privately without distractions. Ensure there is enough time for an open and honest discussion, avoiding busy or stressful periods.

2. Express Your Concerns with Love: Start the conversation by expressing your love and concern for their well-being. Use “I” statements to share your observations and feelings, emphasizing that your intention is to ensure their safety and happiness.

Example: “I’ve noticed that things seem a bit challenging for you at home, and I’m genuinely concerned about your well-being. I want to make sure you have the support you need to be comfortable and happy.”

3. Focus on Specific Observations: Share specific instances or observations from the holiday season that raised your concern. Be gentle and avoid sounding accusatory. This helps your loved one understand that your suggestion is based on genuine observations rather than assumptions.

Example: “During the holidays, I noticed you struggled with [specific tasks]. It made me realize that you might benefit from additional support and assistance.”

4. Acknowledge Their Feelings: Recognize that this is a sensitive topic, and your loved one may have mixed emotions about the idea of moving into a senior living community. Allow them to express their feelings and validate their concerns without dismissing them.

Example: “I understand that this might be a difficult topic, and I want to hear how you feel about it. Your emotions are important, and I’m here to support you.”

5. Present Senior Living Options Positively: Research senior living communities in advance and highlight the positive aspects of genuine wellbeing. Emphasize the social opportunities, professional care that you might not be able to give or can’t do any more, potential improvements in your relationship with them after going from a care giver to loved one again, and safety measures these communities offer. Discuss how such a move can enhance their quality of life.

Example: “I’ve looked into some senior living communities, and they have fantastic amenities and activities that I think you would enjoy. It could be an opportunity to make new friends and receive the care you need.”

6. Involve Them in the Decision-Making Process: Make your loved one an active participant in the decision-making process. Discuss the available options together, consider their preferences, and address any concerns they may have.

Example: “I want us to explore these options together. Your input is crucial, and we can work together to find the best solution that ensures your comfort and happiness.”

Initiating a conversation about moving into a senior living community can be challenging, but it’s an essential step toward ensuring the well-being of your loved one. Approach the discussion with empathy, patience, and a commitment to finding the best solution for their unique needs. By involving them in the decision-making process and focusing on the positive aspects of senior living, you can help ease the transition and create a plan that prioritizes their safety and happiness.

Food for Thought: Our Memory Care Program’s Approach to Dining

In honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Month, The Ashford spotlights a core aspect of our memory care program– the specially designed menu. With a dedicated focus on active senior living lifestyles, we acknowledge the pivotal role that food choices play in the lives of our residents.

An essential aspect of daily life, food takes center stage, growing in significance as we age and becoming increasingly vital for our overall health. Studies have shown strong links between diet and its potential to support memory.

Mealtime at The Ashford is a delicious blend of nutritious food options and opportunities to bring our residents joy through family-style dining. Here, food supports a greater mission to deliver genuine care that enhances the quality of life for all seniors we serve.

Brain-Boosting Nutrients

The link between healthy eating and cognitive function is well-established in the memory care field. Research consistently highlights the impact of nutrients on reinforcing cognitive abilities and slowing decline.

One example is the MIND Diet, a brain-healthy diet developed by experts at Harvard University. The diet has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The MIND Diet is based on the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

Essential features of this diet include:

  • High intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein. This includes healthy fats, like olive oil.
  • Low intake of saturated fat and cholesterol & added limitations on red meat, sugar and refined carbs.

Another study by Harvard Health recommends five key foods that are linked to brainpower and healthy heart and blood vessels:

  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Fatty fish
  • Berries
  • Tea & coffee
  • Walnuts

Our team emphasizes similar nutritionally dense superfoods for residents’ overall health and well-being.

Enhancing Accessibility

For memory care residents, ensuring meal accessibility is crucial. Each of our communities has its own Executive Chef. Meals are served three times daily in our community dining room, with wide-ranging options to suit individual tastes.

We also apply practical adjustments to our residents’ cuisine, like offering boneless chicken and bite-sized sandwiches, making food finger-friendly and easy to consume.

Alzheimer’s can change perceptions of color. For this reason, mealtimes feature red plates, backed by research findings on the impact of color on eating habits.

Likewise, staff carefully monitors residents’ eating habits, preferences and needs. We work to make enjoyable food that is nutritious and appealing.

Community & Wellbeing

We encourage our residents to savor every moment. This includes mealtimes, which we spotlight as daily highlights.

Aligned in many ways with the Alzheimer’s Association’s recommendations for dining, our evidence-based approach aims to provide the highest quality of life and independence possible. Family-style dining for every meal fosters a social environment where residents enjoy nourishing meals alongside meaningful interactions.

Additionally, the team regularly hosts themed dining events promoting active senior living, such as weekly baking therapy and cooking classes. Activities like these allow residents to experience social engagement, practice fine motor skills and improve cognitive function while making brain-healthy treats.

See an example of our weekly activity schedule here.

Life and Dining at The Ashford

At The Ashford, mealtime is just one example of our commitment to translating wellness into all aspects of daily life. By crafting a dining experience that meets the needs and preferences of our residents, we aim to spark joy in every bite and make meals moments of shared community.

If you are looking for memory care that values a genuine home, personalized care and tasty food choices for your loved one, The Ashford might be a great fit. We invite you to select your community of interest here and contact us to learn more.

Mental Health Recommendations from AARP

At The Ashford, we prioritize genuine wellness. Genuine wellness isn’t solely tied to physical health. It entails social, emotional, and financial health, all of which are cornerstones for the services we offer our residents. Mental health is significantly interconnected with physical health, and being part of a supportive community can greatly relieve stress and combat isolation.

Most people would agree that improved well-being is a desirable goal. Fortunately, there are some ways you can promote well-being for yourself and your loved ones. For practical tips on how to enhance your mental health, check out this AARP article here.

Balancing Care and Dignity for Your Loved One

Caregivers play a vital role in ensuring the safety and well-being of their loved ones, especially those in need of assisted care. However, they also must balance this priority with the need to respect their loved ones’ dignity and independence.

This isn’t always easy, but there are some things that caregivers can do to strike the right balance. Together, you can navigate a new normal that ensures the best of both worlds.

If you’re looking for further insights on this topic, check out this AARP article, which delves deeper into finding the right balance between care and dignity. Their suggestions include:

  • Open conversations about change
  • Addressing safety concerns
  • Maintaining independence in all aspects of life where it’s possible

The “ideal” caregiving relationship isn’t the same for every family. However, many seniors and their families may find it easier to achieve a fulfilling balance by looking into a senior living community like The Ashford of Beavercreek.

The Ashford of Beavercreek offers a full continuum of care, including maintenance-free independent living for seniors, where cleaning, housework, and meal preparations can be community-managed. Our assisted care provides support from a dedicated nursing team, allowing caregivers to focus on being present and fully enjoy the time spent with their loved ones.

No matter the situation, it’s important to prioritize your loved one’s safety, dignity and wellness, as well as your own. By doing so, you can create an encouraging environment that allows them to live their best life.

For more information about programs that provide assisted care or independent living for seniors, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here.

smiling older man with cane

4 Reasons Not to Wait to Move Your Loved One to an Assisted Living Community

When it comes to helping a loved one make the move to an assisted living community, it’s not uncommon to put the move off “until it’s absolutely necessary.”

Often, this conclusion is preceded by your Dad insisting that he is fine on his own, or Mom promising she can manage and doesn’t want to leave her home.

The idea of moving to a new location and changing one’s lifestyle can be daunting for anyone, and attempting to convince your parent otherwise can be a trying task.

Therefore, the decision is put off to be reanalyzed at a later date.

However, many residents at assisted living communities and their families realize, in retrospect, that they wish they had made the move sooner–and there are several reasons for this.

Read on to learn about four downsides, or unintended consequences, of waiting too long to move into an assisted living community…

#1: There’s an increased likelihood of falls and other accidents while living at home.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every eleven seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every nineteen minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

Falls are one of the biggest threats to safety in seniors, and once a fall has occurred, quality of life can rapidly decline.

It’s important to note that when tasks such as bathing, dressing, or maintaining the house become more difficult, the likelihood of a fall occurring increases.

It goes without saying, waiting until a fall has happened to make the move to assisted living is not the ideal strategy.

If you can start thinking of the move to an assisted senior living community as a preventative measure, you can take steps to ensure your loved one’s safety.

#2: There can be increased difficulty for family members who attempt to provide at-home care.

In many cases, families will either hire in-home care or attempt to provide the needed care themselves.

Many soon realize that the time and energy investment is more than they can handle, and the quality of time spent with their aging parent decreases as they attempt to assist with a variety of daily tasks.

On the other hand, professional caregivers at assisted living communities can provide compassionate assistance with feeding, bathing, and dressing–enabling adult children to spend more quality social time with their loved ones.

#3: Seniors have an increased likelihood of experiencing loneliness and not enough opportunities for socialization.

Lonely Tree


Social isolation is a real threat to the well-being of seniors in the United States.

In addition to increasing the risk of long-term illness, both “social isolation and loneliness are associated with a higher risk of mortality in adults aged 52 and older,” according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sitting home alone and watching television is a recipe for a decline in both physical and mental health.

Even if the children and grandchildren make regular visits, it may not be enough.

On the other hand, assisted living communities offer many instances for healthy social interaction and activities with fellow residents. It’s highly recommended to take advantage of these socialization opportunities while still in optimal mental and physical health.

#4: Making a move when the resident is less mobile and physically able is more difficult.

Regardless of age, moving to a new home can take up a certain amount of both physical and mental energy.

Making the move while one is in better shape makes for a smoother transition, with minimized exhaustion.

Assisted living communities offer a range of exciting activities and opportunities that are better enjoyed when in optimal physical and mental health.

If your parent moves to a community but can’t participate in the aerobics classes or bingo games, he or she may live with the regret of not having made the move sooner.

Although it can initially be difficult to talk to your parent about making the move, once settled at an assisted living community, you will likely find that it was the best decision your family could have made.

If you’re looking for a safe, engaging, and warm assisted living community option for your loved one, we invite you to schedule a tour of The Ashford on Broad or The Ashford of Mt. Washington.

We look forward to meeting you!  

This Financial Benefit Can Help Your Veteran Loved One Afford Assisted Living

Our servicemen and women give so much time and energy to protect and serve our country.

Ensuring dignity, ease, and care for veterans as they age is an important part of expressing our gratitude for their service.

However, navigating care in one’s later years can be complicated–from selecting the right care situation to navigating which care options are financially viable.

If you have an aging loved one who is a United States veteran (or is the spouse of a veteran), you may find yourself wondering “How can veterans get help with assisted living costs?”

Fortunately, the Aid & Attendance Benefit can be used to cover assisted living costs for wartime veterans and their spouses–though many families aren’t clear on the details or how to go about securing the benefit.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the Aid & Attendance Benefit, who qualifies for it, and how to apply to use it for assisted living services.

The Aid & Attendance (A&A) Benefit

The Aid & Attendance (A&A) Benefit is available to honorably discharged wartime veterans over the age of 65 with 90 days of active duty, and is also available to their surviving spouses.

The exact amount of yearly support depends on the situation. See below for more details provided by Paying for Senior Care

  • $21,531 per year for a veteran with no dependents.
  • $25,525 per year for a veteran with a spouse.
  • $13,836 per year for a surviving spouse.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, one of the qualifying criteria for eligibility for the Aid & Attendance Benefit is that he or she requires the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, going to the bathroom, etc.

If your loved one requires assistance with activities of daily living–there’s likely a case to be made for him or her to receive the A&A Benefit.

How to Apply for the A&A Benefit


If it sounds as if your loved one may qualify for the A&A Benefit, he or she can apply by writing to the Pension Management Center in the state of residence.

Additionally, you and your loved one can visit your local regional benefit office to file a request. Use the VA Facility Locator to find the local regional benefit office closest to you.

In the application, make sure to include evidence (such as a report from an attending physician) that validates the need for Aid and Attendance.

This way, your loved one can receive the necessary rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs to use the Aid & Attendance Benefit toward assisted living costs.

More specifically, the application for the benefit should…

  • Be detailed enough to, as the Department of Veteran Affairs states, “determine whether there is disease or injury producing physical or mental impairment, loss of coordination, or conditions affecting the ability to dress and undress, to feed oneself, to attend to sanitary needs, and to keep oneself ordinarily clean and presentable.”
  • Indicate how well he or she gets around and what he or she is able to do during a typical day.

Utilizing these financial benefits can make assisted living an option for your loved one–so don’t hesitate to begin the application process as soon as possible.

If you’re worried your parent can’t afford assisted living, even with the Aid & Attendance Benefit, we have a helpful resource to share. Download our free checklist today to discover how affordable assisted living can be!

Assisted Living 101: Activities of Daily Living

Younger, more able-bodied people often take for granted the ease at which they are able to perform daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and food preparation.

As we age, not only do these tasks become more difficult–they can pose a threat to our safety.

According to the National Council on Aging, one in four adults over age 65 fall each year, and “falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.”

These worrisome statistics, among others, make a strong case to utilize assisted living services offered at various senior living communities.

Although your mother or father may desire to continue living at home, at the end of the day, it’s important to prioritize his or her safety.

At assisted living communities, professional and friendly team members can provide your parent with the necessary help with ADLs, or “Activities of Daily Living.”

In this post, we’ll cover five areas of assistance for ADLs so you can better understand the value that assisted living communities provide.

Personal Hygiene

From clean skin to brushed or styled hair, having good hygiene and feeling groomed is essential in maintaining both confidence and optimum health.

If your parent needs help with personal hygiene, team members at assisted living communities can help with oral, nail, and hair care.

In addition to assisting with confidence-boosting and hygiene-preserving activities, team members help residents maintain a regular and safe bathing regimen.

According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), 80 percent of falls occurring in the senior population are in the bathroom–a statistic that makes a strong case for professional bathing assistance.

Continence Management

Although using the bathroom is a private matter, the fact is that emptying one’s bladder becomes more difficult as mobility declines. After a certain point, a grab bar doesn’t provide the necessary level of safety needed.

Continence management includes both one’s mental and physical ability to use a toilet successfully, and assisted living staff can respectfully assist your parent in using the bathroom seamlessly.


Whether young or old, what one wears for both casual and formal occasions is important when it comes to comfort or purposes of self-expression.

However, hanging up clothes or dressing for the day ahead can be difficult and dangerous tasks to accomplish as one ages.

Team members at assisted living communities can ensure that putting clothes on and keeping a clean closet are manageable tasks for your loved one.


The consumption of balanced meals is an essential part of maintaining proper nutrition.

With the social nature of mealtime at assisted living communities, the last thing residents need to worry about is the struggle to feed themselves.

At assisted living communities, professional chefs and helpful team members work hard to make sure that mealtime is smooth and easy for residents.

With these resources at hand, your parent can focus on sumptuous flavors and engaging conversation, instead of struggling to prepare or eat food.


According to Kindly Care, ambulating is defined as “the extent of a person’s ability to change from one position to the other and to walk independently.”

Not all residents enter assisted living needing this kind of assistance, but when their situation changes, team members are there to make moving from one location to another comfortable and possible.

Assistance with Activities of Daily Living significantly decreases the likelihood of falls and other at-home accidents that are common for aging seniors.

However, beyond increased safety, another valuable aspect of assisted living communities is that they provide residents with compassionate and dignified support in accomplishing these activities.

At The Ashford on Broad and The Ashford of Mount Washington, we assess each resident’s level of ability and craft an assisted living care plan tailored to his or her needs.

Have any questions regarding how our team members can support your parent in his or her activities of daily living at The Ashford? Contact us today!

Have a Parent in a Rural Area? Beware of These 3 Senior Safety Risks

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

There are a variety of factors that influence senior safety.

From your loved one’s dietary choices to his or her sleep patterns, a number of variables will affect Mom or Dad’s mindset, way of thinking, and quality of life.

A big factor for your parent’s safety?

Don’t underestimate the importance of where your loved one lives.

For example, take a few moments to think about how the location where you reside—whether it be a rural, urban, or suburban environment—affects your daily life.

Although younger people may experience an improved quality of life by escaping the big cities and moving out to the countryside, this is often not the case for senior citizens.

Living in a rural environment drastically affects a senior’s safety and quality of life–and it’s often not in a positive sense.

In this post, we’ll dive into three reasons why rural living can increase senior safety risks and how making the move to a senior living community can make a world of difference.

Senior Safety Concern #1: Decreased Access to Medical Support

To put it simply, rural areas are less equipped to deal with large and small medical emergencies.

As one New York Times article puts it, “medical care is accessible in some places, absent in others, and cellphone service can be unreliable.”

With approximately 25% of Americans older than age 65 living in small towns or other rural areas, this dynamic presents our country with a worrisome dilemma.

However, the downside to rural living for seniors doesn’t simply stop at medical safety concerns.

In addition to a lack of access to medical facilities and personnel, there’s generally less access to resources needed for daily life…

Senior Safety Concern #2: Less Access to Caregivers

As seniors age, tasks that used to come easy become more challenging.

In fact, senior safety risks can come from relatively simple tasks. For instance…

If the closest grocery store entails driving for a half hour or more or the nearest technician or plumber is based several towns away, getting things done or fixed isn’t going to be easy. Rather than asking for help, your loved one may undertake tasks alone…and risk a fall or accident.

You may think that hiring a caregiver to assist your loved one at home is the ideal solution to this problem.

However, a 2017 study by Population Health Management explains that with the “migration of younger individuals to cities for career and social opportunities,” there’s now a “smaller pool of potential caregivers” in these more rural areas.

Even if you do find a caregiver for your loved one, when it comes to social engagement, the solution pales in comparison to living in a community of other senior individuals.

Which brings us to our next point…

Senior Safety Concern #3: Higher Cases of Senior Isolation and Loneliness


In the Population Health Management study, researchers found that, in addition to the food insecurity, mobility challenges and chronic health conditions that come along with rural living, the resulting social isolation is also a challenge.

Unfortunately, isolation and loneliness in seniors affects more than their psyche.

As we shared in our post 4 Facts about Senior Isolation That Will Surprise You, seniors who experience loneliness are more likely to develop dementia and other conditions, as well as engage in unhealthy behaviors such as a poor diet and smoking.

Fortunately, senior living communities can address all three of these safety concerns and serve as an ideal solution for many seniors in rural areas.

How a Independent & Assisted Living Can Make a Difference

As the Population Health Management study puts it, “Today, healthy aging is not just about living longer but about living better.”

Even if your loved one tells you he or she is fine staying put in a rural environment, your parent may not realize how much his or her quality of life will improve by moving to a senior living community.

These communities not only provide easy access to resources and assistance in daily tasks, but there are also numerous opportunities for daily social interaction.

Making the move sooner rather than later is your better option as waiting until an accident has happened isn’t an ideal strategy.

At The Ashford, we offer several assisted living communities for your loved one, including a new property opening in the quaint town of Hilliard, Ohio—The Ashford at Sturbridge.

Schedule a tour today to see how one of our communities can improve your parent’s safety, security, and overall well-being!

Why Social Activities for Seniors Improve Quality of Life at Assisted Living Communities

Giving a round of applause and laughter when his friend wins a game of Bingo.

Singing her favorite song with joy among peers and caregivers.

Moving to the beat at his favorite exercise class every Monday morning.

Moments like these are common at assisted living communities that provide seniors with a selection of fun, interesting, and engaging social activities.

Perhaps your loved one is living at home and is struggling with social isolation. And maybe you’re just beginning to consider how the activities for seniors at assisted living communities can help. Here’s what you need to realize…

Senior living social activities don’t simply fill your loved one’s calendar…they also provide a number of benefits.

Read on to discover three specific reasons why social activities improve your loved one’s quality of life at an assisted living community.

#1: Social Activities for Seniors Build Relationships among Residents and Caregivers

Making a move to assisted living communities involves a process of building new relationships and engaging in activities to become closer to fellow community members.

Social activities act as that necessary bridge for new members, particularly those that may be more introverted and need an easy “in” to new friendships and bonds.

Whether your loved one signs up for a book club or cooking class, these activities are perfect ways to meet others with similar interests.

Beyond fellow residents, social activities also act as a catalyst for relationship development with caregivers.

For example, at The Ashford, our caregivers are often involved in facilitating and encouraging social activities within the community.

This opportunity for engagement beyond assistance-based tasks only strengthens the caregiver-resident bond.

#2: Social Activities Improve Seniors’ Confidence Levels and Build Trust

The benefits of social activities for seniors extend beyond the increased opportunities for social engagement and relationship building.

These activities also provide a chance for residents to try new things and increase their confidence and trust in themselves and others.

As the saying goes, it’s truly never too late to try something new.

Maybe it’s seeing your father discover a new sense of joy out in the community garden.

Or perhaps it’s hearing your mother talk excitedly about her first watercolor painting class.

Whatever it may be, your loved one’s participation in these activities plays a big role in maintaining a healthy level of life satisfaction and happiness.

#3: Social Activities Act as Stress Relievers and Improve Overall Wellness


Oftentimes, when seniors decrease their level of physical activity, their health will decline rapidly.

In fact, the BMJ Journal reports that “worldwide, around 3.2 million deaths per year are being attributed to inactivity.”

Understandably, for many people, the motivation to stay physically active can be hard to maintain alone.

That’s why group physical activities for seniors—such as light yoga classes, aerobics, and even gardening—are helpful and encouraging for many residents to stay active and fit.

Beyond physical health, these activities improve mental health and brain functioning in older adults.

Life Science describes how one study found that “U.S. adults ages 70 or older who engaged in mentally stimulating activities at least once or twice a week were less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment four years later, compared with those who did not engage in mentally stimulating activities as frequently.”

Based on these findings, it’s safe to say that with the reduced stress, improved brain functioning, and optimal physical ability, physical activity can greatly improve a senior’s overall life experience.

As the son or daughter of a senior, knowing that your loved one has numerous opportunities to stay engaged and healthy at his or her fingertips will give you peace of mind.

At The Ashford, our assisted living communities offer the chance to engage in social activity each and every day. From dining events to exercise programs, we help our residents stay socially engaged with each other.

To see our atmosphere for yourself, schedule a visit to one of our communities…or plan your visit in advance to The Ashford at Sturbridge, our newest community, which opens in late fall of 2018.

Senior nutrition

5 Dietary Guidelines for Senior Nutrition

When you think of preserving long-term health for your parent or loved ones, a few things may come to mind.

Maybe you think of the various medications that keep their ailments and chronic conditions under control.

Or taking them to their monthly doctor appointments.

Or perhaps it’s encouraging them to attend a weekly exercise class.

Although there is certainly a place for these things in your mother or father’s long-term health plan, there’s one area that can make a huge difference when it comes to healing and preventative care.

A Clinical Interventions in Aging study found that “16% of those >65 years and 2% of those >85 years are classed as malnourished,” and the study predicts these figures to rise dramatically in the next 30 years.

In this post, we’re covering five senior nutrition tips and information that every adult child of an aging parent should be aware of.

1. Seniors Need to Increase Their Intake of Calcium, Vitamin D, and B12.

Generally speaking, seniors need less calories than younger adults.

However, they need just as many nutrients, if not more.

This is because, as we age, our ability to absorb nutrients decreases.

Calcium, Vitamins D, and B12 are particularly important for seniors, because…

  • Calcium is key for maintaining strong bones.
  • Vitamin D helps the body better absorb calcium and fight infection.
  • B12 is good for making red blood cells and maintaining proper function of nerve cells.

Whether it be taking supplements or adding in nutrient-rich foods for meals prepared at home, it’s important to take proactive steps to ensure your parent won’t be deficient in these nutrients and vitamins.

2. Seniors Should Be Aware of Food Interactions with Their Medication.



Certain prescribed drugs can affect your parent’s appetite, digestion, and nutrient absorption.

Additionally, medications can have negative interactions with various foods.

Therefore, it’s important you educate yourself and your parent about what to expect and avoid while he 0r she is taking medications.

Fortunately, caregivers and other staff members at assisted living communities remain proactive and mindful when it comes to ensuring residents’ diets comply with their medication requirements.

This way, you and your parent can rest easy knowing you won’t risk negative consequences of combining foods and medication.

3. Seniors Need to Stay Hydrated.

According to Agingcare.com, “older adults are more susceptible to fluid and electrolyte imbalances.”

Additionally, our ability to both conserve water and sense thirst diminishes as we grow older–the perfect recipe for dehydration.

Making the move to an assisted living community can make a huge difference in this regard.

Professional and mindful caregivers are responsible to remind residents to stay hydrated throughout the day–adding an extra layer of reinforcement.

4. Older Adults Require Different Serving Sizes.

People at different stages of life will require different portion and serving sizes.

Older adults require less food bulk and calories than younger people.

For example, according to the National Institute on Aging, adults 50 and over should follow the following daily portion guidelines:

  • Fruits: 1½ to 2½ cups.
  • Vegetables: 2 to 3½ cups.
  • Grains: 5 to 10 ounces.
  • Protein foods: 5 to 7 ounces.
  • Dairy foods: 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk.
  • Oils: 5 to 8 teaspoons.
  • Solid fats and added sugars (SoFAS) and sodium (salt): keep the amount of SoFAS and sodium small.

Although these are simply suggested guidelines and don’t need to be strictly adhered to, they are helpful when it comes to minimizing the chances of overeating.

5. Loss of Taste or Smell Can Affect a Senior’s Appetite.

As we age, our ability to taste and smell may become diminished–affecting our appetite and craving for food.

As the Mayo Clinic recommends, “If loss of taste and smell is a problem, experiment with seasonings and recipes.”

Utilizing this information can make a huge difference in your parent’s quality of life.

Luckily, for those that reside in an assisted living community, dining services make it easier to follow these senior nutrition guidelines.

At The Ashford assisted living communities, we provide excellent cuisine options served in a home-style setting.

We work hard to ensure that our culinary offerings are both delicious and meet the nutritional guidelines stated above.

Visit our communities’ dining rooms to learn more about how we can help your parent maintain high-quality nutrition!

Contact us today to schedule a tour of one of our communities…