The fact is, you need more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away, but wellness is closely tied to what we eat. The old saying is more about making wise choices for good health and nutrition (i.e. we would never say, “a Big Mac a day keeps the doctor away”).
Maintaining health through good nutrition is a lifelong process; a wholesome diet becomes increasingly important for seniors who may have other health issues, like diabetes or dementia (read more in this recent post, Seniors in Assisted Living Battle Numerous Health Issues). Certain foods may trigger unwanted behaviors or responses, while others may balance out the body’s sugar levels or boost memory.
In assisted living, meals in the community dining room yield the benefits of social engagement and a routine. Yes, the hope is that the meals are also nourishing and tasty too, but many seniors who lived alone prior to an assisted living transition may not have made regular, consistent meal times a priority. Having scheduled meals to provide a framework for the day can be tremendously positive for assisted living residents, in addition to the accountability aspect (someone will notice if you don’t eat enough, or at all).
Your turn: Do you make healthier food choices in a group or on your own?