Healthy eating is important for any age group, but especially for seniors. Eating a healthy diet is one crucial aspect of overall health and wellness, which can affect energy levels and chronic disease risk. Life insurance rates and coverage are also affected by your health.
Many older adults are also living on a budget. There are ways to eat healthily, enjoy life, and take care of yourself while still stretching your dollars. We will discuss tips for healthy eating for older adults, budgeting tips for older adults, and the importance of life insurance coverage.
Insurance for Older Adults
When it comes to budgeting and finances, it may seem like a good idea to cut back on expenses like insurance. But, it’s vital to have appropriate life, auto, homeowners, and health insurance coverage even if it seems expensive.
Life insurance is important for all adults, but especially for older adults. It can help protect your family’s finances and set them up to help cover any unexpected end-of-life expenses.
Life insurance rates are affected by age, gender, occupation, health status, and medical conditions. Eating a healthy diet is one contributing factor to improving health and preventing disease no matter your age.
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Getting life insurance for seniors over 80 years old can be difficult or very costly. If you don’t already have a life insurance policy, a better option might be whole life insurance or universal life insurance. Some companies offer final expenses insurance as well.
You should research the pros and cons of these types of insurance and find out the best option for your personal situation. You can compare life insurance rates online or meet with an agent to find the best rates and coverage for you and your family.
Older Adult Nutrition Guidelines
Healthy eating and physical activity are two important lifestyle habits to help boost energy, optimize wellness, and prevent illness and chronic diseases. There are specific nutritional strategies for older adults that can help contribute to a healthy diet.
As we age, our metabolism slows down. We also tend to lose muscle mass and be less physically active as we age. Older adults may need fewer calories, but that doesn’t mean fewer nutrients.
Protein is one crucial nutrient for older adults. The function of protein is maintaining muscle mass, rebuilding body tissues, and repairing body tissues like skin, hair, and nails. A lack of protein can have a number of negative health consequences.
Older adults may not get enough protein in their diet for a few reasons. The first is that it may be difficult to chew meat because of teeth or dental issues. The second is that meat is an expensive part of our food budget.
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The third reason is that older adults may not be eating enough protein-rich foods on a daily basis. The good news is that there are inexpensive, non-meat, and convenient protein options like beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy products, and soy products.
Older adults should be getting at least 20 to 30 grams of protein in each of their three meals daily. Healthy snacks can also contribute to your overall protein intake.
Calcium and vitamin D are two micronutrients needed for maintaining bone health. We lose bone mass in our older years, which can lead to osteoporosis. Dairy products and other bone-building foods are a great source of calcium and vitamin D in the diet.
Vitamin B12 is needed for nerve function, energy metabolism, and red blood cell formation. Older adults don’t absorb natural vitamin B12 as well as younger adults. Fortified foods like soy milk and cereal or a daily multivitamin are great options to get vitamin B12.
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It may be helpful to take a daily senior multivitamin. While a multivitamin should never replace a healthy diet, it can help supplement the foods you are eating. Think of it as extra insurance to get your daily nutrients.
Fiber is another important nutrient for older adults because it helps prevent constipation, keeps you regular, and can also lower blood cholesterol levels. Whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, and 100% whole wheat bread, cereal, or pasta are full of nutrients and fiber. Beans, nuts, seeds, and soy products also have fiber.
You should also cut back on added sugar, sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat. These nutrients can impact heart health, increase the risk for diabetes, and can lead to weight gain. It’s best to limit processed food, fast food, and packaged food because they are the biggest sources of these unhealthy nutrients.
A healthy and varied diet with lean protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains will give seniors the important nutrients they need daily. Plenty of fluids like water, coffee, tea, and low-fat milk also help prevent dehydration.
Just as healthy eating and a varied diet are crucial for older adults, so are regular exercise and physical activity. Seniors should focus on moving more and sitting less. Even if you aren’t very active right now, any amount of exercise is better than none.
Budgeting and Financial Tips for Older Adults
Many older adults need to set and follow a budget to help manage personal finances. Many seniors are living on a fixed income and may find it necessary to budget for expected and unexpected expenses.
Insurance can be expensive, especially health insurance. If you had a health insurance plan as an employee, it may have been partially paid by your employer. You may have wondered, “Can I drop my employer’s health plan for Medicare?” After retirement, your premiums for both health and life insurance may be much higher.
Even if health insurance is costly, it is necessary. Medical bills can be very expensive without insurance. They can still be expensive even with health insurance, but adequate coverage helps keep costs more reasonable.
Cut back on extra expenses if necessary. Some expenses are fixed, such as utilities. It may be valuable to refinance a car or mortgage or compare rates for expenses like cable, prescription medications, cell phone, insurance, or internet access to save a few dollars here and there.
Food can be an expensive part of your overall budget. There are numerous ways to cut back on your food bill. Eating at home more often, using the sales flyer to plan meals, comparing the unit price, and cutting back on food waste are all ways to save money on groceries.
If you find that your budget isn’t allowing you to cover expenses or have enough food, there are community resources available. Senior centers, meals on wheels, food pantries, and many community organizations provide assistance to older adults with food and other costs.
Living a Healthy Lifestyle on a Budget
It just takes some planning and preparation to enjoy your golden years and stay healthy and happy. All older adults can implement these tips to live a healthy lifestyle on a budget.