Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!

Topic: Nutrition and Medicine in The Elderly

As I continue to honor my word of sharing nutritional health tips in March, let’s think about the foods seniors love to eat and the medicines they take daily. Some medications can affect appetite or the capacity to take in nutrients because of medications. Foods can augment, delay, or lessen drug absorption.

What medicines affect nutrition?

As a caregiver, it is important to know the relationship with food and medicine. Did you know antibiotics affect nutrition? While on antibiotics yogurt is a nice food choice to use with the elderly. Foods to avoid while on blood thinners are the ones high in vitamin K. Why, because it can counteract the blood-thinning effects of Coumadin. Eat asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green onions, kale, parsley, spinach in moderation. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice should be avoided taking medications from the statin’s family. Be mindful if your loved-one is taking Lipitor, Mevacor, or Zocor. These three medications, and there are others that you need to ask your healthcare practitioner about to be sure. And finally, diuretic. Avoid foods high in sodium because sodium causes the body to retain water, it can counteract the effect of diuretics that rid your body of fluid build-up.

Caregivers, you have a huge responsibility when caring for a loved-one. Not only are the activities of daily living important, but the medications also taken and the foods seniors eat must be known and understood. This is another proactive caregiver tip just for you.

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