Lately, due to the dramatic gains in life expectancy, the term gerontology is being mentioned frequently. Gerontology is a comprehensive study of the aging process and the particular problems of old people. Nowadays there are specialized clinics and hospital departments around the world, dealing exclusively with the well-being of the elderly. Faivish Pewzner is Chief Operating Officer of the Americare Companies, a nation-known, privately-held company active at the home health care scene. Here, Mr. Pewzner shares some of his rich experience regarding proper care and nutrition for seniors.

As we get older, our bodies have different needs, so certain nutrients become especially important for good health. In general, combining an active lifestyle with a healthy diet is the best recipe for healthy aging. That means, it is extremely important to balance your food intake with physical activity. The more active you are, the more food you need. Also, Faivish suggests keeping an eye on your meal portion size. If you are less active choose smaller serving sizes and add plenty of vegetables, salad, and fruit.

Thanks to all of the advancements in the medical field, there are countless possibilities to prolong life, cure people of diseases and enable them to live a longer and fuller life. On the other hand, however, the global life expectancy rise has led to an increase in morbidity and mortality as the result of chronic, lifestyle-influenced diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The global demographic and nutrition transitions point to an urgent need to focus on preventive approaches in health care. Thus, as the company COO, Pewzner has shifted Americare’s focus from exclusively alleviating nutrient deficiencies to educating people on chronic disease prevention.

In order to make lifestyle changes and optimize our health as we age, health care providers such as Faivish Pewzner and the Americare Companies, are starting to consider all the lifestyle and environmental factors contributing to suboptimal eating and lifestyle patterns. Ongoing initiatives to optimize long-term health and promote healthy aging are based on the concept of functional fitness, the ability to lead an active and healthy life.

The normal aging process involves changes that can influence nutritional status. Pewzner has already issued several initiatives aimed at safeguarding and improving long-term health and promoting healthy aging. Good nutrition promotes health-related quality of life (HRQOL) by averting malnutrition, preventing dietary deficiency disease and promoting optimal functioning. Some of the physical and psychological changes that occur with aging that have potential adverse impacts on the nutritional aspects of HRQOL.

In the United States, the problem of overweight and obesity occurs side by side with problems of malnutrition in the elderly. Body fat tends to double during middle life, although, by 65–70 year of age, body fat generally decreases, even in healthy older persons who do not modify their diet or levels of physical activity. But even despite the overweight and obesity crises in the United States, some undernutrition occurs as a result of unhealthy weight loss in older persons. Such involuntary weight loss can lead to protein-energy malnutrition and loss of lean muscle mass.

Ben Carrier
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