A Growing Senior Population
Adapting to the rapidly growing senior population is the first challenge to look for in 2018. The U.S. senior population continues to rise and new products and companies are entering the senior living market to meet this need. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2020, there will be a senior population of 56 million and by 2030, that number will balloon to 74 million seniors.
Information from: McKnight's Long Term Care News
Older people complain about how food tastes. It's in the buds - your taste buds. They change over time and affect the flavor of foods. And for older adults same foods don't taste the way it did some time ago. As the body ages, so do the taste buds. Adults have over 6,000 taste buds; elderly people have only 2,000 to 3,000.
It doesn't mean that the flavor of foods diminish forever,and you'll never enjoy food again.
On the contrary, it means that food needs more seasoning than it's getting.
Put down the salt shaker, because there are other things that can increase the savory nature of food. Lessen salt intake by using other ingredients such as cayenne pepper, rosemary, garlic, and more.
The stronger a seasoning, the more likely you will be able to sense it and enjoy your food again.
The good thing about adding more seasonings is that many of the herbs and spices used to create savory dishes are beneficial to the body.
Garlic offers anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial functions in the body. The traditional bulb is the high blood purifier and is chock full of strong taste so needed for seniors.
Rosemary is also great for treating and preventing influenza. Cinnamon and cayenne pepper have properties that help both glucose levels and arthritis symptoms.
The body needs some salt for regular functioning, but salt is a restriction for many elderly people, and they need to follow a sodium-free style of meals. It is essential to add salt carefully to food if you or someone you love has a sodium restricted diet. Only add salt to home prepared foods - vegetables, meats, and avoid adding any salt at all to prepackaged food.
Well-seasoned foods eliminate dull meal-times and skipping meals altogether, which leads to eating the wrong foods and weight loss.
Information from: AssistedLivingFacilities.org
Now is the time for senior living communities to change their dining service programs to satisfy the expectations of the baby boomer generation. It’s not that baby boomers will be entering senior housing; baby boomers already are entering senior housing.
Baby boomers have lived different lives than their predecessors – they are typically more educated and affluent and have been everywhere and done everything – so their expectations are much different from their parents’.
A challenge that senior living facilities must address is satisfying current residents with the three-meals-a-day programming and adjusting to the flexibility baby boomers expect – meals with natural, healthy ingredients.