Nutrition recommendations are determined by the guidelines of the Finnish Food Authority and are developed for global as well as national use. The dietary recommendations are based on research on the needs of different nutrients throughout the circle of life and take into account the extensive research on the effects of nutrients in preventing disease and promoting health.
The recommendations will change as lifestyles and public health change and as new research becomes available. But is there too much emphasis on food recommendations? It has been recognised that excessive dietary monitoring puts pressure on dietary intake and may contribute to reduced food intake.
Nutrition for the elderly
Elderly people need more protein and at least as much of other nutrients as younger people. The nutritional needs of the elderly remain the same or even higher if there is an underlying medical condition. In older people, the body is not able to use nutrients as well as when they are younger, making a steady intake of different nutrients even more important.
Under-nutrition in the elderly significantly increases the risk of disease. Research highlights the need for protein, an essential building block for muscle. Several diseases and inflammations contribute to the loss of muscle mass.
These dietary recommendations are not just a windfall, but the result of extensive research. However, it is important to remember that in difficult circumstances it is extremely difficult to follow these recommendations. The elderly person’s relatives can help with food preparation and ensure that nutritional intake is maintained at a good level. It is important to avoid putting pressure on the elderly person to eat and to find suitable alternatives.
At Menumat, we strive to help older people find a way of eating that suits them. We make it easier for carers, as our meals are always made according to nutritional recommendations and are one of the most protein-rich choices.
Well-being of older people
An older person’s well-being consists, for instance, of being active, being healthy, being able to function, having a family and other loved ones, being together, having a safe living environment, sexual well-being and being involved in different kinds of organisations.
Municipalitys’ have a role to play in supporting older people’s inclusion and functional capacity in all life situations. In addition to social and health services, housing solutions, among other things, have an impact on the well-being and functional capacity of older residents. The activities of organisations and volunteers also play an important role in supporting the well-being of older people.