Ageing is a process to be embraced and can bring great opportunities and experiences. As we grow from childhood into adulthood and old age our bodies are continuously changing. Many of these changes happen at such a slow speed that they are barely noticeable.
With improved medical knowledge our average lifespan has increased. In the UK life expectancy has improved by 10 years since 1960 to 81 years*. This amazing development has meant that we are now seeing an ageing population. Many age related health issues are now becoming more commonplace. A variety of these complications and conditions can affect eating and drinking and may require some adjustments.
Some aspects of Ageing that can affect Eating and Drinking:
- Reduced sense of Smell and Taste
- Body Composition changes with increased percentage of body fat stores and reduced percentage of lean muscle mass
- Reduced Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
- Changes in hormone levels affecting Hunger and Thirst
- Reduced Mental Capacity
- Reduced Mobility
We are all very different and while some people are very active and mentally stimulated throughout their lives, others are affected at some stage. Body composition, mobility and mental function can all decline and require modifications in diet which will allow for a better quality of life.
In this section we will look at how some of these changes can affect everyday mealtimes and eating or drinking. We offer hints and tips that can make changes easier and in line with normal behaviour, which will be more likely to succeed.