People with COPD often have trouble keeping weight on, because it takes so much more energy for them to breathe. Your senior could try simply increasing her caloric intake, but that’s not all that she needs. She needs calories, but she needs to maximize them by eating nutritionally dense foods.
Cheeses and Whole Milk Offer Calcium and Calories
Calcium is vital for healthy bones, but your senior needs more from cheeses and milk. Using the whole-fat versions of both enables her to get the benefit of the calories and the fats in each type of food. This can be a great way to get nutrients into your senior’s diet while also ensuring she’s eating enough. Yogurt can also be a good choice, especially if your senior is also lactose intolerant. It also adds probiotics to her diet.
Protein Is Also Important
Cheese and whole milk also contain plenty of protein. This is something else your senior’s diet needs to be high in. Lean proteins, like poultry and fish, are great choices. Eggs and peanut butter are also good choices. Protein helps your senior to maintain her muscle mass and to keep her body running. It’s one of the main building blocks that she needs to have in every single meal.
She Needs Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Any healthy diet needs to be full of vegetables and fruits. They’re so vital because they contain nutrients like vitamins and minerals that your senior very much needs, in order to keep herself as healthy as possible. Avoid any fruits or vegetables that don’t agree with your senior or that causes a lot of bloating. Those can make breathing more difficult and you want to avoid that.
She May Want to Rethink What Meals Look Like
Meals don’t have to adhere to the same strict structure that they might have during the rest of your senior’s life. If she finds that she does better with five or six smaller meals throughout the day, that might be the way to go. This can help your elderly family member to avoid feeling bloated and uncomfortable, which can make breathing more of an issue.
It’s tough to make these kinds of changes quickly, especially if your senior is finding that she has trouble managing her energy levels now. One way to help her through that is to bring in senior care providers. They can take over household tasks for her and make sure she’s eating healthy, wholesome meals that bolster her energy levels.