Frail elderly are defined as persons usually over the age of 75 who are afflicted with physical or mental disabilities that may interfere with the ability to perform activities of daily living independently. This includes meal-planning, preparation and clean up.
Frail older adults have specific nutritional requirements. They need calories to maintain body mass. Certain nutrients and vitamins are more important. These include protein, calcium and Vitamin D. Malnutrition is more likely to occur in home-bound older adults than in healthy older adults because the home bound have difficulty accessing grocery stores and healthy foods.
Protein is important for all individuals, but it is especially important for the frail older adult. Protein performs many functions. It repairs cells, maintains and replaces tissues, and manufactures red blood cells that carry oxygen. It’s essential to blood clotting. Protein also produces antibodies to fight diseases and illness.
Calcium and vitamin D are very important for frail older adults. Adequate calcium and vitamin D are needed to maintain bones. More vitamin D is needed as skin synthesis declines with age. It’s important to add more calcium and vitamin D to the diet.
It may surprise you to learn that Thrive Ice Cream is an excellent addition to the diet of the frail elderly. In terms of the “big three” – protein, calcium and Vitamin D – Thrive is an all-star. A six-ounce serving contains 9 grams of protein (18% of RDI), calcium is 35% of RDI and Vitamin D is 40% of RDI. Additionally, Thrive contains six grams of fiber to support digestive and immune health, 480 mg of potassium (14% of RDI) a total of 24 vitamins and minerals, and 270 calories.
Thrive Ice Cream is so packed with nutrition that it can be used as a meal replacement or supplement. Because it is real ice cream, Thrive is more likely to be eaten (and enjoyed) unlike liquid supplements that are sometimes perceived to be medicine and don’t taste good. Thrive is also a solution for frail older adults with dysphagia as it melts to a honey or nectar viscosity for ease of swallowing. (Note: We do not recommend that individuals with swallowing issues eat Buttered Pecan Thrive as it contains pieces of pecans.)
Achieving optimal nutrition and thus health is a challenge for the frail elderly, particularly those who live alone. Palatable products that are full of nutrition, need no preparation, and are widely enjoyed are a good option for the frail elderly, their partners and caregivers.
Find more information on Thrive and order online on our website.