A decline in vision is a common part of aging, but age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, are not. Older adults who develop an eye disease often need help from an home health care professional to complete their daily tasks. However, there are ways to prevent these life-altering vision impairments from hindering your loved one’s ability to be independent and have healthy vision. There are several lifestyle and dieting changes that can be made to save the senior’s eyesight and continue doing the activities they enjoy doing.
- Change your diet. What we eat weighs heavily on how healthy our bodies are and how well they function. In order to have a body that works properly, some dieting changes need to be made. Eating plenty of green veggies and fruits will keep the elder’s vision sharp, while diets high in saturated fat and sugar may increase their risk of developing an eye disease. Also, eating foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, healthy proteins, and lutein will not only prevent eye diseases from occurring, but will also help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- Include fats. Eating plenty of good fats will help keep your aging loved one’s eyes strong. This fat can be found in flaxseed oil, fish, canola oil, and walnuts. These foods can also help prevent the elder’s eyes from becoming dry.
- Stay away from salt. High amounts of sodium can usually be found in pre-packaged foods and could heighten the risk of cataracts. Older adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium per day and should avoid adding salt to their food. To keep the sodium levels low, fresh or frozen foods are the best option.
- Eat whole grains. Breads made from 100% whole grain and cereal that is rich in fiber will slow down the digestion system and sugar absorption. These foods will also help the senior feel fuller longer because of its high fiber content.
- Drink up. Staying hydrated is an important step to keeping our eyes healthy. This does not just mean the elder needs to drink water. They can also keep their bodies hydrated by drinking 100% fruit or vegetable juices, skim or 1% milk, or non-caffeinated herbal teas.
- Eat good protein. Lean meats and seafood are packed with zinc, which can help strengthen your loved one’s eyes. Fish, lean meats, legumes, eggs, and nuts are all excellent food options that will help seniors get the amount of zinc their bodies need.
Aging adults can keep their vision healthy and sharp for years to come by following these dieting tips.