180 Nutrition: Mobility issues can make even the simplest everyday tasks into a challenge. Things such as cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping can become a near impossible task. Not only can this be frustrating for mobility-impaired adults, but it can also lead to poor nutrition. Without the ability to easily prepare food, it can be tempting to switch to less healthy options or avoid eating altogether.
Over 22% of disabled Australians need help with mobility, affecting thousands of individuals, families, and caregivers across the country. It’s crucial that we work to tackle the problem of poor nutrition amongst mobility impaired adults, and the first step towards combating any issue is through education. Here are some ways that adults facing mobility issues can ensure that they get the vitamins and minerals that they need each day to stay healthy.
Pay Attention to Calorie Intake
A mobility impairment can make cooking difficult. It’s much easier to instead turn to pre-packaged meals, fast food, and junk foods. For adults who don’t move around much, however, this type of diet can lead to rapid weight gain. Even maintaining a normal 2,000 calorie diet may be too much. Individuals with mobility issues should aim to keep the calorie count down to avoid excessive weight gain, but they also shouldn’t starve themselves. It’s best to speak with a doctor or registered dietician to come up with a healthy meal plan.
Eat Plenty of Protein
All adults need protein to build and repair muscle, but this can be particularly important for the disabled and the elderly. Protein intake tends to decrease as we get older, which leads to muscle loss and, in turn, a loss of strength and stamina. Mobility-impaired adults should make sure to get plenty of lean proteins without overdoing it on fats and salts. Eggs are a good high-protein food that’s easy to prepare. You can also find plenty of protein in cottage cheese, yoghurt, and other soft dairy products. Dissolvable protein powders are a good idea for those who have trouble chewing.
Illness, infection, and chronic conditions such as arthritis can all get in the way of a healthy and happy lifestyle. Mobility issues can make it especially challenging to prepare balanced meals, and many disabled adults suffer from deficiencies as a result. By being careful about daily nutritional intake, mobility-impaired Australians can ensure that they get the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain a stellar quality of life.
This article was written by Jane Munro a health enthusiast and freelance writer.