Senior Care in Mountainside NJ
Can you imagine having to pay attention to every bit of salt that you consume? Salt, more properly referred to as sodium to encompass all of its forms beyond simple table salt, is the most common food additive in the world. It is used for both flavor and preservation of the food. For the approximately 5 million people throughout the United States who are currently living with congestive heart failure, however, it can have a different meaning.
One of the primary recommendations often given to aging adults who are dealing with heart failure is to control their sodium intake. It is absolutely true that the human body does require salt in order to survive, but most foods contain the compound naturally and the amount that the body needs is minute, which means that it is not necessary for health purposes to supplement the amount of sodium your body has with added table salt.
Reducing the amount of sodium in your parent’s diet is important because it helps to control the amount of fluid in the body. CHF cause the body to hold on to extra fluid and extra salt due to the reduced ability for their heart to pump efficiently and effectively. This creates swelling throughout the stomach, feet, hands, and ankles, which can become severe enough to impact circulation. It also can cause congestion within the lungs, causing shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Because of this extra fluid, the already weakened heart must work even harder to try to force the fluid out of the body. This can further damage the heart and lead to potentially disastrous health consequences. Controlling salt helps to reduce fluid retention both because salt naturally causes the body to retain fluid and because consuming extra salt means that your parent will want to drink more, which can make the situation worse as well.
If your aging parent is suffering from CHF, a senior care provider can make a tremendous difference in their ability to stick to their doctor’s guidelines regarding issues such as sodium consumption and fluids. This senior health care services provider can ensure that your parent understands these restrictions and can help them to maintain them with tasks such as grocery shopping, meal preparation, and eating assistance.
Some of the specific ways that a senior care provider can help your parent to control their sodium intake include:
- Choose fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible. This is especially true for vegetables as frozen and particularly canned versions are often very high in sodium. If your parent must eat canned, choose a no or low sodium version.
- Add flavor to food with herbs, spices, and vinegars rather than with salt.
- Remove the salt shaker from the table completely so that your parent cannot add extra salt before eating.
- Cut out as many processed foods as possible. These are often extremely high in sodium both for flavor and for preservation. Packed meats, cheeses, soups, and sauces and condiments are generally the highest.
- Always read labels and understand the amount of sodium in each serving.
- Be conscientious about the foods that they choose when eating out.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Mountainside, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299.
Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.